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June 14, 2021

By the Power of the Smokey Widow

Oh Dhumavati!
You are the Widow goddess
You stand alone in places most desolate
You show us the power of facing the loss
of things we have lost and are yet to lose,
You reveal the power of the widow
that stands just one heartbeat
Before despair
Indeed you stand
beyond Despair!
To you we bow.

– Boonath

Dhumavati is the end of what is to be known. She is Jyestha, the elder one.
She so ancient that to talk of her wisdom and teaching, only serves to wrap her up in riddles, and so we will keep this presentation short.

Dhumavati is the intensely ugly Widow Goddess, bitter, barren and bereft of Beauty.
Her nose is beaklike, her countenance inspires disgust,
She is dirty, with only a few rotten teeth left, her breasts are empty and withered and she wears a perpetual scowl of an expression upon her face.
She is an elder Goddess, the grandmother of all goddesses it could be said.
Dhumavati is difficult to approach as she inspires deep disgust.
Yet Dhumavati holds the deep wisdom of age and loss.

Dhumavati has no peer and is distinct among Goddess as having no opposite.
She is a Shakti that is self-contained and stands alone.

Tales of Smoke and Widows

Smoke is an important element when working with Dhumavati. When invoking her, the more Smokey the better. Smoke is the secret key to Dhumavati.

Dhum in her name actually means smoke. Dhumavati is the one who is smokey.
She is born of the death of Sati in the fire. As Sati burned to death in what was to be her sacred marriage fire, she became the unobtainable widow.
Sati’s insulted and dishonoured spirit manifested and took form in bitter smoke. The smoke became Dhumavati; she who is born of smoke.

Another story tells of how Sati after uniting in love with Shiva, had started to live together with him in the Himalayas. Sati was always hungry as the Himalayas did not offer the royal dishes that she was used to.
One day she became so maddeningly enraged with hunger that she turned on Shiva and started to eat her way to widowhood.
Shiva Howled and fought his way out from inside her stomach until she could not help but vomit him out in thick clouds of smoke The enraged Shiva glared at her with his third eye and cursed her to lose her beauty. And so she shriveled up into an old decrepit hag with a terrible ever hungry and unsatisfied expression upon her face.

She is old and Wise

Dhumavati has the wisdom of years. She holds the secrets hidden by the smoke of time. She offers us time-honoured and weathered secrets that can easily escape the pursuits of the youthful striving spirit.
Dhumavati brings us to the places we might easily pass by and avoid. It is easy to view her realm as being devoid of value, for it is ugly, dirty, barren and widowed.
To venture toward her is to go into the places we would not usually go to.

Her age takes us to the wisdom behind the formulations of time.
Dhumavati teaches us of the wise acknowledgment of that which we have lost over the span of our lives.
If something is lost or dies, it is often a cause for lament. But it also holds the seed of the rebirth of another mode of being.
Dhumavati is the Shakti that shows us that when one thing dies, another is born.
The Tantric work with Dhumavati is to listen to the elder voice that exists at the crossroads of every loss. If we heed her aged being by learning to look with her eyes then and only then does wisdom grow.
Dhumavati can assist us is in our widowed parts. She shows us the need to go into deep feeling. She reveals the healing nature of mourning and facing loss and emptiness with feeling. She opens the creative power latent in that which we might all to easily choose to turn away from.

Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svahh

If you would like to join
our Dhumavati Jayanti ritual



June 14, 2021


Jyestha Nakshatra is the elder star sister. The word Jyestha derives from ‘Jye’, which means ‘the eldest and the most powerful’. Of all the 27 star sisters who are the Nakshatras, Jyestha is the eldest.

The main star of this Nakshatra is the brightest central star of Scorpio, which is known as Antaris.
This is the heart of the scorpion. It is a star emits the infrared frequency and appears slightly red in the night sky and most visible in spring, it is particularly visible at the end of May, when it is opposite to the Sun.
The ancient star-gazers of China envisaged Antaris in the constellation of the Dragon, and referred to Antaris as the fiery star, on account of its red glow.
The Name Antaris, comes from Latin and means ‘not Mars’, or ‘anti-Mars’. The planet Mars comes close to Antaris in periodic cycle, every two years. They both share the red colour but Antaris is not-Mars.

The Heart of the Scorpion

Jyestha Nakshatra is the heart of the Scorpion. This fits very well to the energy of this Nakshatra as we shall see. The Scorpion is a mysterious creature of mystical and frightening fascination, unique in that it carries its sting in the end of its tail.
The scorpion is a symbol of dark toxicity and alchemical and occult secrets. Just like the star of elder wisdom that is Jyestha, scorpions are believed to be one of the oldest land animals. Fossils have come to verify this. Very fitting that Jyestha means ‘the eldest’.

We see the principles of alchemy at play in the scorpion, when we consider that scorpions are nocturnal creatures that gather energy from the Moon. Scientists have postulated and found that the whole body of the scorpion is one big eye, with which it is able to navigate in the deep dark after having stored up visual power through absorbing lunar rays. They appear startlingly bright under ultraviolet light, and they grow in their night-vision by the lunar energy they absorb.

Old and Bitter

The Old Finger

The middle finger is considered the eldest finger by Tantrics. It is generally the longest and most developed finger, hence it being the Jyestha finger.

In the astro cosmology of the Yogins, the 27 Nakshatras married the Moon, but they felt a sense of injustice when the Moon’s attention was not shared equally with all of them, but given more to Rohini.
Jyestha, the eldest amongst the celestial sisters, was the one who suffered extreme jealousy at the injustice and ended up complaining about the unfairness of the Moon. This caused the Moon to be cursed to a life of waning away. Jyestha came to regret this curse that her sting had initiated against her beloved. The Moon was saved as the curse was mitigated. The Moon did not fully overcome the curse however, and so thereafter had to undergo the cycles of waxing and waning.

Jyestha Nakshatra is opposite to Rohin. They are literally at opposite poles of the zodiac. They are opposites in many ways. Jyestha is an old wise crone of a woman with the potential for a competitive and bitter scheming nature, whereas Rohini is possessed of sweet innocence and creative fertility.
One sister has the fresh outlook of youth and a spontaneous wisdom that is not burdened by time and experience. The other sister has the weight of experience and the weathered experience of years weighing heavy upon her back.
That Jyestha is opposite to Rohini in the sky is of much consequence when understanding the energy of Jyestha Nakshatra.
The elder Jyestha watches the young sister carefully, and the elder can become bitter when she feels that the experience and wisdom that she has earned with age is disregarded.

This brings us to the lesson of Jyestha. This Nakshatra is connected to the wish to prove ourselves, and is prone to paranoia and jealousy. Jyestha Nakshatra rouses our unresolved themes connected to competition, paranoia and jealousy.
Working with Jyestha brings us the ability to gain the vision of our inner conflicts and battles. Jyestha brings these inner battles and conflicts out of us and into the field of our manifest lives.
Our inner conflicts and battles are what make up our scorpionic sting, and they also the cause of us ourselves the receiving the sting.
The scorpionic sting within us can backfire upon ourselves. But by cutting off our sting, we kill the ancient potential of the scorpion. By cutting off the sting and smoothing over it with niceties we risk becoming old and bitter.

Suppressing or denying
the sting in the tail of the scorpion
causes an internal poisoning
that manifests in bitterness of the Heart.

The sting is a danger, yes. Its free expression depletes us and wreaks havoc. Handling potentially dangerous power is the wisdom of the elder. Wisdom is denied, if the sting is denied. Fighting the sting, or sugar-coating it, is an insidious form of denial.
By knowing how and where and to apply our agonies we can turn them to the profoundly of time-honoured power and artistry within our lives.
The agonies of the spirit hold great potential, if they are handled with care. They have the potential for both creativity and destruction.
The sting in the tail of the scorpion is a formidable force. On the one hand, its untamed expression leads to destructive results, and on the other hand, restraining, denying, destroying or seeking to blanket over the sting within us also leads to destruction.
Harnessing and working with the power of the sting within us, without wishing to destroy it or deny it, ‘is’ the great elder potential wisdom of Jyestha.
Locating our sting is the first part in the steps to the wisdom of Jyestha. Identifying which stings we hurt ourselves or others with, is a path of discovering our karmic essence.
What is behind our tendencies, becomes revealed as we investigate our sting. This leads us deeper into the wisdom of the elder that is known as Jyestha.
Jyestha is the queen. We come to our royal power through her initiation. The initiation of Jyestha is about coming to our real size. By neither downsizing, or over sizing our capacities and authentic expressions, we take a seat upon the royal throne of our true power.

The Power of Talismans

Amulets, Earrings and Umbrellas

The Talisman is the symbol of Jyestha Nakshatra, along with earrings and an umbrella. There are several relevant stories that relate to Jyestha that hi-light this. Here we shall look at one, or perhaps two, of them.
The sacred amulet has been prized across cultures. Sometimes the lucky charm is an object that is found, or it can be something that is prepared through ritual empowerment.
Healers the world over have prized these objects of power, and have used them as tools for healing, protection or blessing.

Amulets have the ability to ritualistically focus the mind and awaken power. Awakening or having power is one thing, but the ability to hold power and harness it wisely is another thing altogether. The stories that relate to the Talismans of Jyestha stress this point very much.

Amongst Tantrics, objects of power are given as indicators of initiation, sometimes they are handed on and earned. The belief that an object can be imbued with power spans the world over. Within Tantra there are many detailed and sometimes complex formulas for imbuing objects with power with energies, so that they can serve as healing instruments and objects of power.

It takes time and wisdom to imbue something with power, and is no overnight thing. In the same way it takes time and dedication to earn and learn a skill, so it is with the amulet.
This is the meaning behind it being the symbol of the elder Star Jyestha. Like the wisdom of this Star, an amulet is a time honoured thing.
In the circles of Tantra the secrets aren’t given easily. They can’t be claimed or bought, but are to be earned and gradually received through slow-time honoured application.

In the Mahabharata epic, there is a story that tells of the protective earrings and armour that belonged to a warrior named Karna. Karna was the child of Surya (the sun) and inherited the armour and earrings that made him invincible from his solar father.
Indra took the earrings and Kavach (protective talismanic armour) away from him.
It is important to remember that the main protagonist on the battlefield in the Mahabharata is Arjuna, who is the son of Indra.
Whether Indra was protecting his son, protecting his own throne, or had other reasons for taking the protective armour and earrings, is a worthy subject of study and meditation.
The Mahabharata is all about the strategies of spiritual life and psychic warfare. It takes much spiritual strategy to grasp the deeper meanings of the codes inscribed in the Mahabharata. The deciphering of its wisdom is earned with time-honoured contemplation, study and introspection.
We see one example of the protective talisman here in relation to the Indra. Indra is the king of the Devas and the ruling deity of Jyestha Nakshatra.
Another story tells of the robbery of the earrings of Indra’s mother Aditi, by an Asura named Narak. Again the earrings were a powerful protective talisman that in this instance enhanced clairaudience.

A contemporary take on the umbrella-shaped Jumka earring

Let’s look at a story that tells of Indra and a protective umbrella. Indra owned an umbrella that was, like his mother’s earrings, also stolen by the Asura Narak. But in this story we are dealing with a different umbrella.
Once upon a time the farmers were preparing a mass ritual with many offering to Indra. Indra is a thunder god who also controls the rain.
The ancients were in the habit of giving spiritual offerings to the deities who stood behind the expression of natural phenomena. The farmers depended upon the rains and so they gathered in ritual, to give power to the god who controlled the rains.

Krishna is known as the cosmic trickster, who managed to convince the farmers that their offerings were a waste. He asked them rather to feed cows and each other with the ritual offerings. Krishna told the people to forget these old customs of offering honour to the gods. The farmers feared that by not honouring the gods with offerings the gods would be malnourished and start to demand things and retaliate in unfavourable ways.
Krishna laughed it all off, and his laughter was so contagious, that the people went along with him. And so the animals and people enjoyed the feast and offerings that were meant for Indra.

Meanwhile, Indra did not receive his expected offerings of energy and devotion, and so he decided to look into the matter. Needless to say, he was furious when he saw the farmers making merry, not only withholding their offerings, but enjoying them themselves. Incense was burning and feasts were distributed all amongst themselves and the cows.
Indra grew jealous of the young child Krishna. This young child who thinks that he can upset the cosmic order enticed Indra’s wrath.

Indra mounted his elephant, Airavata the storm elephant, and together they charged the skies. Airavata can expel water from his truck at the speed of light, and has the power of storm clouds in his flight. He usually guards the doorway to Indra’s paradise and has many tusks and trunks. So, in a fit of vengeful rage, Indra rode wildly upon Airavata and together they let loose thunderbolts and torrents of rain.

The Samvartak, as it is called, is the mighty storm weapon of Indra. It releases thunderous roars of electric and ice. Indra did not hesitate in his intention to destroy child, woman, man and cow, along with many other creatures. Indra in his frenzy, he sought to punish them for consuming and enjoying the offerings that he believed were rightfully his.

The villagers feared drowning and death by lightening. Krishna continued to laugh through it all, and lifted the sacred mountain Govardhan upon the fingers of his left hand, creating an umbrella for the farmers and creatures to be safe. Indra applied the full force or storm for 7 days and 7 nights.
The Govardhan mountain is the mountain of the cows that is sacred to Krishna.
‘Go’ refers to cows and ‘Vardhan’ means ‘that which nourishes’. Krishna is the keeper of cows, who are the symbol of motherhood and nourishment. Krishna himself means the dark one. He is the cosmic trickster who poses unfathomable riddles to the mind and captures the heart.

When Indra could not prevail he realised that the young boy was no ordinary child, but an incarnation of Vishnu the preserver. Indra accepted defeat and offered Krishna a divine cow and gained pardon for his cruel, overactive and unjust behaviour .
This story of the protective mountainous wielded by Krishna, highlights the themes of Jyestha very well. The talismanic-mountainous-umbrella saved the people with the real matured and elder wisdom of Jyestha Nakshatra. The behaviour of Indra, the god of Jyestha, on the other hand, fell into the rags of jealousy and conceit. But Indra did realise that he had erred and bowed low and learned a lesson by shamefully taking account that it was no way for an elder king to act.
Jyestha is invested with power. It’s power can selfishly initiate drama and suffering, or it can be a wise protective beneficent force, as the story shows.

Protecting the Throne

I’m the King of Paradise

Indra is the King of the Devas who is given to enjoying the luxuries of his realm of Paradise. He likes to consume and become intoxicated on large amounts of Soma. Already as a child, he was stealing supplies of it to quench his thirst. Indra encapsulates the haughty narcissistic power drive of Jyestha Nakshatra.
Like Jyestha Indra has power, but it can be executed with a sting, as illustrated by the story just told.

Indra means ‘ruler’, ‘leader’, ‘someone with power’, all of which he is. On top of this, Indra is handsome with a golden shine to his skin.
He will stoop to very underhanded means to get what he wants. Once he desired the wife of a great yogi, and shape-shifted to resemble the yogi and had his way, but he brought a curse upon himself. Another time Indra was too busy enjoying merriment and Soma drinking that he ignored his Guru and lost his blessings, after which Indra fought ruin on himself and had to undergo terrible ordeals to set things right.

Indra represents the soul who grows through his mistakes. He makes many mistakes that cause great suffering to himself and others, but he bares the consequences and grows wise in the predicaments and burdens of the consequences that life exacts from him.
Sometimes it seems that Indra never learns and is just too full of his own power and royal standing. The dangers of Jyestha are revealed by his star. With power comes danger. Having the upper hand and the sting of the scorpion on one’s side can corrupt. The deepest lesson of Jyestha Nakshatra is to hold power wisely without brandishing it proudly and without unnecessary display. Power is lost, if it is not kept wisely.
Arohan Shakti is the power of Jyestha, this is the power of conquest, dominance, leadership and the King. This power comes from the solar-plexus Chakra. Power imbalances and struggles can show themselves in the solar plexus that is not in balance. Learning about handling power is the balancing of the solar-plexus Chakra.

The power and integrity of the royal overseer is the ability to articulate between the realms, and have awareness of the predicaments of his subjects.
Indra’s Nakshatra is ruled by Mercury and this presents an important point.
Mercury is the only planet that is friendly to the planetary adversaries that are Saturn and Mars.
Indra has the power to bridge opposites, he literally is a bridge between these opposite energies. His apparently ambivalent nature, that articulates between the dark and light themes of Saturn and the Sun are explicit in the stories that deal with Indra and his exploits. Indra is sometimes a brutal punisher like Saturn. He is as magnanimous as the Sun, and lives the extremes, often to the detriment of himself and others. He is a candidate undergoing the initiation of Jyestha himself.

Indra’s Nakshatra is in the midpoint between water and fire. This is known as the Nakshatra Gandanta point in the zodiac. Ganda implies a knot and Anta is the end. The Gandanta points are the junctions between the opposing forces of water and fire. They represent the coming to the very ends of karmic lessons.
Water and fire create steam. Indra rouses much steam in his wake and is in fact the controller of the clouds.
Gandanta points are powerful stations where Karmic knots can potentially unfold the themes that keep the second and third Chakra separated.
This Gandanta point represents the point between the water ruled sexual Chakra and the fire ruled solar plexus Chakra.

One relevant story of Indra hilighting this junction tells of him overcoming the giant serpent Vritrasura. This was one of Indra’s greatest conquests.
After Indra beheaded his Asuric Guru, the father of the decapitated son, enacted revenge by summoning Vritrasura.
Vritrasura was a giant serpent that brought drought by holding the waters of creation in his giant belly. The battle between Indra and Vritrasura went on for a whole year and in the end he swallowed Indra whole. The place where Indra broke free from Vritrasura was in the belly, between the watery and fiery Chakra. The serpent died as Indra broke free of his oppression. Indra overcoming the serpent represents his initiation of opening the Karmic Gandanta knot between the two Chakra’s.

This principle of bringing adversaries together is also visible in the relation between the opposite Nakshatras of Jyestha and Rohini, which are at opposite poles of the sky. Rohini is in the most auspicious yielding fertile side of the zodiac. Whereas Jyestha is in the inauspicious part of the zodiac that is concerned with power, conquest and dominance.
One star is Aldebaran, the red star, in the eye of the Taurean bull (Rohini), and the other is the red star Antares, on the opposite side, in the heart of the constellation of Scorpio (Jyestha). Both are giant red stars, with one pole representing the elixir of life, and the other representing the poison. Rohini represents the teachings of Lakshimi, and Jyestha represents the teachings of Alakshmi.

Rohini represents the Devas
& Jyestha represents the Asuras.

We see that Indra had many dealings with the Asuras. After he managed to offend his Guru and lost his sacred protection, he even hired the servers of an new Asuric Guru to help him maintain his Paradisal realm.
On each side of this zodiacal belt, these star poles walk together on the path of wisdom. Each star has its own lessons, along with its pitfalls and potentials, as we shall see in the next section.

The Hare

An Elder Creature

The hare is the animal of Jyestha Nakshatra. Tantrics consider the hare an elder creature with the wisdom of years behind it. The hare is nocturnal and unlike a rabbit doesn’t care for the protection of the social burrow.
Hares come out in spring. The saying ‘Mad as a March Hare’ highlights their behaviour at the height of their breeding time in the month of March.

Although they breed for half of the year, the month of the spring equinox is the time when they are most active in daylight hours. Almost as if they come to actively meet the beginning of the waxing year. They undergo some quite extraordinary mating rites that reflect the nature of Jyestha Nakshatra.

The female hares will test the male to the extreme buy running him to the point of exhaustion. Hares can reach speeds of 80 km/h. They then will fight in the famous boxing manner that they are known for to further test the power and endurance of the male.
Jyestha Nakshatra is the old formidable crone that tests how far we have come in terms of wisdom. Jyestha is a feminine energy that cares to raise our potential and, just like a female hare, will test us by exposing our weak-points on our march through life.
Easter and its association with the Hare, or Easter bunny, becomes clear in this light of the rising light that the spring equinox brings.
The hare has a highly solitary nature just just like Jyestha Nakshatra. When Jyestha is in orbit, the energy of introspection is beamed to us on earth. This is the introspective scrying over the past and gaining insight into the nature of the soul wandering through the fabric of times many weavings. The statements made by our life experiences can come to define us, for better or for worse. The wisdom of the crone is the ability to unstitch the soul from the fabric of experiences that it is woven within. Freedom exists in studying the defining stitches that keep repeating and weaving ever onwards into the tapestry of our life.
If we find we are repeating cycles over and over and over, then we are crossing a habitual stitch and freedom is but a fancy word.

Ready Matured

Eyes Wide Open

The hare is one of the few animals born with eyes wide open. It is literally born as an elder and very fittingly so, for it is the assigned creature of the elder Nakshatra of Jyestha.
The hare is a creature that is born mature. It has minimal support from its mother and can even manage – if left on its own – very soon after birth.
Most creatures require a period of days or even weeks to even open their eyes and start to move effectively on their own. But the Hare is ready to jump shortly after its birth, with vision already developed.
The eye is central to Indra the ruling deity of Jyestha. Indra is covered in eyes and has a hyper awareness that watches carefully from all directions for opponents to his throne.

The hare also shares a connection to Indra through its sexuality. The hare has often been taken as a symbol for sexuality and fertility.
The hare reaches sexual maturity very soon in life and has a prolonged mating season that lasts half the year. Science has come to discover that the female hare has two synchronised ovarian cycles which gives it the ability to become pregnant while already pregnant.
The hare was connected by the ancient Greeks to the goddess Aphrodite, on account of its sexual and fertile nature.
Indra too is known for his legendary sexual conquests that were the cause of him being cursed to have his reproductive organ fall off and his body to be covered in a thousand Yonis.
The story tells us that he fled into hiding until the curse was mitigated by celestial intervention. He was given the reproductive organ of a ram and, into each of the Yonis, was put an eyeball, with which he could watch potential opponents from all sides.

The Generational Curse

Stirring Cyclones of Time

Jyestha Nakshatra illuminates the wisdom that we carry in the deep recesses of the Soul. Its wisdom is not of an abstract metaphysical kind. Rather, it is the kind of down to the bone type of wisdom, based on the lessons we have really learned through experience.
Age and time does not indicate that we have actually learned the lessons that destiny puts on our path. Sometimes we may even grow blind with time. Indeed, we might do well to take the introverted gaze of Jyestha and look back upon the cycles of time.

Are we repeating the same cycles as we did in previous years?
Sometimes the format might be different but the cycle is the same. This is how the generational curse gets passed down the line. The old saying that ‘the sins of the ancestors are visited upon the young’ is a very apt phrase for Jyestha. She is the old woman who holds the key to breaking or making the generational curse.
Elders have a big spiritual task in the Tantric tradition. As they grow closer to the spirit world and come to learn the lessons of destiny, they can potentially unlock astral doorways and energies that the next generation can benefit from. If they don’t resolve the cycles of what destiny is repeatingly showing them, then they don’t open the astral doorways and may even put more locks in place for those in their line.

The question here becomes: what are you repeating? Are you following the same pattern and rhythm as you were in past cycles? Jyestha is an energy that can’t be tricked. She is an ancient beady-eyed old hag who has her eye on all the tricks and strategies of the trade. She sees all the routes that we take to avoid facing wisdom. Jyestha is so old, that running is no longer an option. She tells us that sometimes the form might change but the energy has not been resolved. She asks us what are we brewing up and handing on?

An example of this would be that we step out of a life of riotous living fuelled perhaps by drink and drugs and destructive relationships, and step into a healthier path of spirituality and herbal tonics. We might have really resolved the form but not the underlying energy. If the energy of drama and ungrounded hysteria still informs our life, then the form has been changed but the heart still beats the same old tune.
When the destructive pattern and rhythm of past cycles is not resolved, then cycles turn into cyclones that keep us spinning in the same old!

The Tale of the White Hare

Sweet and Bitter

The old English folktale of the White Hare, very interestingly encapsulates some of the key principles of Jyestha Nakshatra. We have seen how Jyestha shares a jealous and vengeful relationship with her opposite, Rohini.
Jyestha is the old white haired women, rich with the wisdom of the years upon her. She can have a tendency to become bitter and vengeful, if she feels she is not honoured.
Rohini, at the opposite pole in the sky, is the young maiden, red with life and blood, being innocently fresh and inexperienced is her charm.
In order to grasp the lessons of these Star sisters they must be considered and taken together, their opposites teach us of each and the other.
The old folktale of the White Hare ties together the opposites, reflected in the principles of ripe innocent maidenhood turned sour with intrigue and embittered experience. This here attempted retelling of the story seems rather fitting in this context.

Once upon a time there was a young maiden. She was rosy cheeked with crimson lips. Her eyes were like fresh sparkling pools of blue topaz and she wore a woven magenta cape that had been handed down for generations through the line of wise women behind her.
Her cape was a blessing for it had been stitched and repaired by many a wise hand and held intact, never had the hands behind her allowed it to fray or wither, even across generations.
This young maiden was body, heart and soul in love with a local boy. Together they frolicked through grassy pastures under many shades of sky.
They would sit silent together, drinking the juice of fermented apples by the river, and watch the March hares play their games, and then fall asleep together under the azure sky of fresh spring nights.

Their love was pure, their love was sworn,
But sometimes good things get ravaged and torn
Gone was her love on the morn
Leaving her broken heart to tragic to mourn

She learned that he had run away
with another girl astray

and gone to seek his fortune elsewhere.
How did he dare, how did he dare!

Betrayed, abandoned and forlorn
With time she took a look of scorn

In bitter hours she passed many a day
Her mantle soon began to fray

She didn’t care to stitch its wounds
And met her death in misery doomed.

Her bitter spirit once so sweet would not rest, and she hunted him down. She would appear to him first in troubled dreams as a white Hare, reminding him of the last nights they spent on the cool nights of Mach at the riverbank, reminding him that to forsake love is a destiny that leads to destruction.
The young man had grown worldly wise and forgotten about his past in the present wheelings and dealings of daily affairs.
Yet he was haunted by an eerie feeling that something had been left behind, or had been forgotten. Try as he might, he just could not recall what it was.
Each time he would have these reveries that something was amiss, the white hare would appear out of nowhere and cause a stroke of bad luck.
Sometimes a horse would run away, or some other incident of ill luck would follow. What was even more peculiar was that no one else seemed to see the white hare but he, they joked that he had probably seen a ghost.
The tragedies that came with the sighting of the white hare got more and more extreme, the ruin of his livelihood was soon followed by a bad accident, and then the death of his now beloved.
He became more and more paranoid, unstable and fearful of mind as he sank into an abject shadow of his former self.
One winter morning as the sky carved upon itself and covered the land with snow, he was found mangled in a frozen pool of crimson blood.
As crimson as the lips of the love he had once cruelly forsaken.
The local folk were confused when they saw that the footprints of his runaway horse were followed by those of a hare.
The wise amongst the townsfolk knew what it had meant all along and right unto the end.

Hara Ring




June 9, 2021

And who by fire, who by water
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial
Who in your merry merry month of May
Who by very slow decay
And who shall I say is calling?

L. Cohen – Who by Fire

Krittika Nakshatra translates as ‘the cutting star’. This Nakshatra spans Aries and Taurus. Its ruling planet is the Sun and its presiding deity is Agni, the fire god.

The Pleiades is the star constellation of this Nakshatra. They are the 7 mother stars, who as legend tells us, mothered Kartikaya, the warrior god of Mars who fights and battles to establish cosmic justice.

On the Dark-Moon ritual night of Shuni Jayanti, the Moon will be in the lunar house of Krittika. In the year 2021, Saturn is in a place of power, as he is in his very own of Makar Rashi (Capricorn). The next time he will be there, will be in 12 years hence. 

We have a particularly strong planetary focus on this ritual day for the energy of Saturn, Mars and the Sun are at play – in the India astrological wisdom the Sun is considered part of the Navagraha, the nine planets, along with the South and North Nodes of the Moon.

These 3 planets are the hard teachers that carry the heaviest and most valuable lessons to us. 

Furthermore, we have Surya Grahn – the Solar Eclipse. 

The Shadow entity Rahu is in force at the solar eclipse. Ketu also aligns to the dark Moon time of opening the door to ancestral forces.

To say that
this is an extremely potent
ritual day
would be an understatement.

At such potent energy junctions the ancient Yogins have advised to take advantage of the portal to the depths of the self that is offered.

Fasting and staying indoors is prescribed for eclipses by Tantrics.

Saturn is the protector of the feminine. In the stories he burns the sun to blackness in honour of the forces of the Shadow and the feminine. Remember that his beloved is Damini, the mistress of all feminine arts, and another aspect of her is Neela, the sapphire woman who is so close to him, that she lives within him. 

Neelam is a Saphire and it is her stone, interestingly, it is said that a Sapphire magnifies the power of Shuni.

This is a Time when the deep-most Saturnian feminine aspects in us are revealed and drawn out by the shadow forces of Rahu and Ketu through Mangala (Mars)  

Visually the form of Krittika Nakshatra constellation of Pleiades bears a striking similarity to the 7 stars of the Saptrishi (Big-Dipper). We will look deeper into why this is as this text unfolds.

Legend tells us that the 7 Krittika stars were once the lovers of the 7 Saptrishi stars and dwelt with them in love. 

The Saptrishi are described as the 7 wise men. Fiery intrigue ensued when Agni fell wildly in love with the seven Krittika star women. The result of the intrigue was that the Krittika star women became cut off from their former lovers and moved to another portion of the sky. 

They retain the similar shape of the constellation but exist light-years-of-love apart from their former loves. They literally are cut off from their past loves. Kritt, contained in the word Krittika, literally means ‘to cut’.

The Krittika are the sharp cutters prone to fiery, sharp, burning and singing extremities of action.

This star constellation brings us the teachings of fire and its wise handling.


Laws of the Flame

Fire requires fuel. Fire extracts the essence from fuel it transforms, while providing heat and light. A good relationship to fire and the laws and principles of fire is needed for psychic and physical health.

The spiritual work with fire, and the study of the principles of fire, is not an intellectual pursuit. It is a deep investigation into the nature of the laws of energy itself.

The forces of Krittika Nakshatra functioning well, in her sevenfold power, makes one powerful and gives the fuel of fire. When we have fire, we can spread it through our lives. The seven stars of the Pleiades relate to the 7 fires in the 7 chakras.

These 7 star women are the 7 Shaktis of each Chakra.

How we handle
the power of fire
is paramount
in both spiritual
and physical life.


Malfunctioning Krittika energy is the opposite of living well. When our relationship to the 7 flames of the Chakra’s is not healthy, then the laws of fire are to be considered. Establishing spiritual rapport with the 7 mother stars of Krittika Nakshatra, gives birth to the corresponding flames in the 7 Chakras. 

Upon the Dark Moon that is upon us in the Nakshatra of Krittika, the fires of chakras are called from us to burn in the last dark moon of the waxing half of the year. 

When our relationship to Krittika malfunctions, we have that feeling of being burned out, feeling hot and itchy but essentially tired and lacking in power.

We sometimes might see that we switch between these states of healthy fire and burning-out, or sparking-out.

Fire can either make us smooth, warm and enduring, or nervous, restless and rushing – these latter 3 are the quality of a weak connection to the Laws of the Flame. 

This is the fighting to stay aglow, reaching hungrily for scraps and twigs to effectively stay aglow. 

Which scraps, twigs do you reach for when your fire burns out of hand?
How do you light your fire when it’s burning cool?
How do you cool it when it’s burning hot?

Fire becomes expansive with plenty of fuel behind it. A well-considered rhythmical supply of fuel in backup is part and parcel of keeping the stove going. This applies in a spiritual sense, as much as in a household sense.

We wouldn’t by choice be reckless about a supply of winter firewood, if we lived by the stove. Are we equally as conscientious with the supply of spiritual firewood? Or maybe we believe such things are of little import?

For the Tantric, the spiritual fire is of great importance. The laws and principles of fire are a primary study for the Tantric practitioner. 

Knowing all about how to generate power and spiritual propulsion is a question of understanding some obvious but easily denied laws of fire.

Honouring the laws of the flame makes us powerful, effective and royal in all areas.


Putting out fire with Gasoline

Let us consider the nature of Krittika Nakshatra by looking at its ruling deity who is the fire god Agni.

Agni is the deity of Krittika Nakshatra.

His name means ‘fire’. It also means ‘foremost’. Indeed Agni’s fire plays a foremost part in many Indian rituals and rites of passage. Birth is commemorated by the lighting of lamps. Weddings involve 7 circumambulations around a sacred fire, each circumambulation representing the taste of the flame of each of the seven chakras that Agni tastes with his 7 tongues. It is also Agni who conveys the dead across the sea of life at the time of death, in his presence in the funeral pyre. Indian culture has always burned the dead and never buried them.

Agni has 7 tongues of flame and has a voracious appetite for experience.

The scriptural stories often tell how he suffered indigestion because of his over consuming habits. He rules the digestive fire.

Agni’s appetite for everything is vast. A single woman was not enough for him. He fell in love with all the 7 Krittika star women (Pleiades) who were already married to the 7 Saptrishi’s (Big Dipper). 

Agni is the fire of experience that is drawn to experience and taste all things. 

The seven Krittika’s represent the 7 Shaktis of the 7 chakras. Agni has 7 tongues of flame that long to taste in all 7 directions. 

One specialism is not enough for him, he longs to taste the essence of life in all its divisions.

Awareness of time, along with the awareness of our capacities within the realm of time is needed if we are to taste far and wide. Without this awareness, indigestion and overstimulation of a psychic nature can occur. 

Without the wisdom of timing, and without selecting a well measured and well considered channel for our fire, we can lose the wisdom and geometry of rhythm, and risk scattering and dispersing our energies with little outcome. 

Of course, fire does not care to hear this, it couldn’t care less for well proportioned considerations. Fire likes the gear of action. Fire likes to put itself out with only gasoline.

The solar force is disproportionately pronounced in the world culture in which we live. The time we spend in the light and in solar pursuits, usually outmeasures the time given to the cooling night forces.

An extended period of light through electrical means, overstimulates the solar plexus and arouses active energy within us.

An over emphasis of fire in our nature, is an imbalance that runs the risk of eclipsing the receptive night forces, this can put us out of touch both physically and spiritually with the nourishing forces of reception and femminity.

The teaching of Agni is to balance the feminine and the masculine energies. Although Agni is often described as being male, he has androgynous qualities, as we shall soon see.


The Cooling Night Forces

The heat and burn of fire is attractive and stimulating, but too much fire spread too far and wide creates superficiality. When the soul is drawn into the realms of superficiality it seeks ever more fire and experience to fill its empty gaping pit of hunger. 

Seeking action and life experience might easily become a motto for the experience-hungry-fire that, in actuality, is not really driven by wanderlust, but rather by its own emptiness. 

Heating fires abound on all sides. Coffee is served on every corner and sugar saturates the modern diet and creates unnatural fire in the system. 

Music to stimulate the life rhythms is hard to escape in the metropolis. 

Even fast-track spirituality is available in sensationally effective courses, with  abundance of exotic plants offering quick realisation in the spiritual market place. 

At the extreme end of fire we have chemical intoxicants and substances that stimulate the senses and give the illusion of equipping one for life when, in fact, the effects are rather different and, in some people, turn them into a frantic aggressive person. 

The same could be said in some measure, of all the above listed things that feed the flames of an unnaturally inclined solar-dominant word-culture. 

The price of all these fast measures, cited above, is quite high upon the heart, body and soul. Hot and fast seems to be the motto of modernity. But Tantric’s seem to attempt to gain admittance to the sometimes forgotten realms of coolness and slowness.

Solar, active, sunny, bright and fiery are considered powerful words, but their opposite lunar, moony, passive and dark, are all too often designations of insanity, weakness and badness. It does well to ponder the reason why the womb-deep, feminine, cooling, nourishing-night-forces are given such a bad wrap.

A look at the way that the most ancient art and science of childbirth is handled in the modern era will reveal much. 


The Cooling Night Forces

The lesson of Krittika is to be cautious not to lose oneself in the pursuit of wanting to experience life. 

To know the right measure of a thing is Wisdom. This would be the fitting axiom for this Star lesson.

Restraint and suppression of desire is not necessarily what is meant here. Rather, harnessing the fire of desire and pausing to get the insight into the nature of fire. Fire spreads and consumes. The lesson of fire is how can it burn freely without becoming destructive?

It takes insight and forbearance to pause in the midst of heat, to see what is going on. Without the pause, fire can rage and consumes. To work effectively and safely with fire, takes a sober knowledge of one’s capacities and the effect of phenomena upon us. 

This sounds like a very simple matter-of-fact level of base reality, and it is, but why does this obvious knowledge of measures and effects and causes evade so many?

Might it be that the over-handling of fire in our lives burns the nerve endings of the spirit unto numbness?

A comfortably numb state of being poses no risk. In such a state, fire can be swallowed in a mindlessly rampant and flaming march through the circus of life. 

To handle the forces of our lives,
a sober glimpse of reality is required.

Striving sentiments have no place where reality is concerned. To choose wisely and with insight from the variety of ‘isms’ that are broadly on sale in the pick-and-mix shopping centre of life, is needed in the art of handling fire. 

Without sobriety, and the insight into the nature of fire, the indiscriminate mix and pick of fiery ‘isms’ can merely create a reality made-up of masks upon the face of reality.

Fire must be denied in order to know its power. Fasting introverts the physical fire and gives us insights into our fiery power. Fasting from activity has been a favourable past time of Tantrics. 

In the suspension of action, we glimpse into the nature of stray sparks that throw us and our true will, along with their fire fly motions.


Digesting Life’s Experiences

Agni rides upon a ram. His power animal is an indicator of Agni’s active charging power. A ram is a creature that is imbued with a tenacious spirit. The force of the ram burns outwardly in the solar doings that keep us in fiery motion. As we have seen the Tantrics work to discover that the solar force can be introverted with a view to discover the mysteries of the inner spiritual realms. 

The golden rams fleece that was dearly sought by Jason and his band of Argonauts in the ancient Greek Odyssey might well represent the secret wisdom of spiritualised fire.

The key to the lessons of the Nakshatras are revealed in their deities, who present an encoded teaching in their being. 

Each deity has a Vahaan with them. This is a power animal that represents their essence. By studying and meditating upon the animal connected to the Tantric deities we get further insights. Agni rules the digestive fire and transitions between realms from this solar station. 

The ram is a creature with an interesting digestive system. It is well known that they can eat and digest almost anything, including thorns, wood and other normally inedible substances. Rams express a powerful digestive tenacity. They have the ability to swallow large clumps of wood and store them, only to later regurgitate what they ate and chew on it some more, and again sending it back into one of their 4 stomachs. Just like fire that extracts the essence from something, rams are highly refined extractors of essence. This gives them a tenacious enduring spirit. 

This holds a lesson for us, if we carefully consider the symbol. 

By being very thorough about things and chewing continuously on the phenomena that life feeds us, we generate great power and endurance in ourselves. This is the power that awakens Kundalini and can take us deep into the spiritual realms.

It is known that rams and their relative species can climb to mountainous heights that few can reach.

The secret potential of the ram is to extract the most hidden essence from something. The Ram in us that has not touched its potential might scoff things down and extract nothing nutritious from its existence. Tantrics honour the god of fire by honouring the ram that he rides upon. They honour him by chewing carefully on all experience.

To swallow blindly
is the path
to spiritual indigestion.

Agni is the masculine fire force in its purest form. Agni longs to know the feminine in all her Chakric aspects. He literally burns for the feminine. He can’t help falling in love with the feminine mysteries. The 7 Krittikas are also known as the 7 Matrikas (mothers), which are probably at the root of the word Matriarch.

As already mentioned, they are the Shakti of the seven Chakras. We are dealing with a powerful feminine star constellation that spiritually exerts an impact on the 7 chakras through interacting with the 7 glands of our glandular system.

The 7 Matrikas
can be thought of
as 7 types of desire.

Agni has two heads that point to the dual nature of his being. His nature is fire, and fire has two expressions. One is heat and the other is light.

We see these expressions clearly expressed in fire and in solar force.
His two heads also represent these two aspects of the fiery Manipura Chakra.
Agni is the jewel in this Chakra. Manipura literally means place of the jewel.

He rules over the Manipura Chakra of the Solar Plexus with his dual nature, receiving light nourishment and alchemically turning it into the expression of heat. Agni is a synonym for the digestive fire in which he dwells. The Solar Plexus Chakra receives the light of the Sun and expresses the heat of Mars. This brings us to another fiery deity connected to Agni and the Krittika constellation.

Kartikaya is the active expression of fire. He is the heat of Mars. Kartikaya, or Krittikaya, takes his name from Krittika. They are the mothers who raised him, as we will see in the next section. He is pure hot heat. So hot in fact that even the river Ganges could not hold him.


Child of the Stars

Kartikeya is the 7 day old child, who was foretold would save the Devas from destruction at the hands of the Asuras. Yes 7 days old, so powerful was he.

The story is complex and comes in several variants. Here we will simplify it to the basics and set aside some of the interesting and numerous details for another place.

The Devic world was under threat and there was no being powerful enough to save them. A child born of Shiva and Shakti would have the necessary power.

Kartikeya has more than one mother. He was born of Shiva and Pharbati’s love after aeons of effort and many celestial interventions. Yet Kartikeya grew in the womb of Agni and was raised by the Krittika star mothers. The root of Kartikeya is Kritt (to cut), he is also called Krittikya. The child of the Krittika.

Agni is usually designated male, but he has a dual nature, symbolised by his two heads. Agni is actually Androgynous and carried Kartikeya in his womb, but the embryo was too hot for him to handle, and it almost finished Agni off. 

Agni survived somehow and Kartikeya was raised by the Krittika star mothers.

That the star mothers could handle Kartikeya’s heat is an important point in understanding the true power of Krittika Nakshatra. Kartikeya was multi mothered and multi headed.

With the force of Krittika Nakshatra behind him, no battle was too great for him, even though he was only 7 years old.

Kartikeya was a ferocious force that set the cosmic order back in balance. On his 7th day he fixed things so that the Devas could once again rest from the persecution of the Asuras.

Suffice it to say, he grew to be the Martian Lord of Battle.
He rides on a peacock and burns with the active force of a warrior.

The peacock is the bird with the strongest digestive fire of all birds, able to digest all manner of venomous plants, substances and creatures. The digestive fire of the Peacock is unparalleled. It is a creature of profound beauty, with its mystically feathery blooms. It transforms poison into dazzling geometric beauty. Kartikeya does much the same as his Vahaan (power animal), he turns the force of Mars to establish sacred order. He is a king of strategy and the wise handling of potentially destructive force. There are tales that tell of Kartikeya going astray in his use of force, but he learned to handle it and channel it wisely as he grew.


Fiery Longing

O, solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

L. Cohen – Come Healing

Agni is a sex god-dess, Agni is the mistress of reception of power for the female.  But Agni is also the master of the force of ejaculation for the male.

We have seen that Agni’s passion could only be satisfied by 7 lovers. His love endures and charges with the force of his a ram.

Agni yearned for the Krittikas and was in danger of destroying cosmic order, until his longing and passion was remedied by Svaha.

As we have seen, Agni is referred to as a male god, when in fact ‘ he’ exhibits qualities of an androgen. His nature is dual, for he has two heads, he is male and female, he is heat, he is light. He is celestial fire, he is earthly fire.

The child of Shiva was destined to be the only saviour powerful enough to save the Devic realm from the Asuric oppression it was under, and that was leading to its destruction.

Much celestial intervention was carried forward to get Shiva out of his Samhadi (meditational trance) and become interested in anything else.

The story tells that Shiva was so slow and deep in all things, that his love making with Shakti continued for aeons. The Devas were getting so inpatient at suffering the persecution and torment at the hands of the Asuras that, one day, they all gathered together and decided to pay Shiva a visit and tell him to hurry up.

It happened that, in the exact moment that Shiva was about to ejaculate, they stormed their way into his grotto in the mountainous expanse of the Himalayas and caused shock to the Lovers at the very moment of climax. The seed of Shiva was not expelled into the womb of Shakti, but cast upon the walls of the cave.

As Shiva ejaculated all over the cave walls he was in a divine rage for being disturbed at the wrong moment. The Devas looked on in despair, realizing what they had just done.

Shiva’s wrath reached unbeknownst scales of rage and imbued his seed with a fire so hot that it penetrated and melted the mountainous earth.

The seed of Shiva is said to have sunk into the bowels of the earth and created mines of silver and gold.

Shakti was furious at the interruption, and the Devas knew they had really seriously messed up by their inopportune timing.

They begged Shakti to gather the seed into her womb but she was in a rage and refused.

The force of Shiva’s ejaculation was so strong that its fiery expulsion had summoned Agni who had taken a drop of it into his womb. Agni carried the child who became Kartikeya, until the Krittika took over the role of motherhood. Some accounts tell that Shiva’s seed was mixed with Agni’s own seed after his numerous lovings with the numerous forms assumed by the shape-shifting women that was Svaha.

Indra, the king of the Devas, is famous for ever fearing that someone will usurp his throne. When Kartikeya was born, Indra saw that Kartikeya was a force beyond measure and that he might be able to take his throne away.

Indra, we may add, is covered with a 1000 vaginas because of his passion for the feminine. In each Yoni is an eyeball with which the paranoid Indra watches from all directions, in case someone might be able to claim his beloved throne. 

And so the Yoni covered lord of the Devas sent the Krittika goddesses to poison the baby Kartikeya. Even though Kartikeya was the one meant to save Indra’s Devic Kingdom. Indra feared the loss of his throne more than the destruction of his kingdom.

It is easy to call the Krittikas a motherly beneficiary force, but they have a fierce side. Many texts and depictions relate them as wild and witchy child-consuming goddesses.

As they went to follow Indra’s orders and destroy Kartikeya, their hearts melted upon seeing the child. Kartikeya overtook their hearts by his Martian power and magnitude and inspired their maternal instincts. 

And so they took him as their child and mothered him.

Kartikeya turned out to be a Martian force who was too busy with battle and strategy to be interested in Indra’s throne, so Indra was able to relax and enjoy his Yoni, Soma and legendary romance.


Journey Through the Planes

The 7 Mother Stars of the Kritta constellation are in a portion of the astral plane, which gives form to human souls upon their last junction to incarnation upon the earth plane. The Saptrishi constellation of the Big Dipper can be said to give the form to the mental and causal bodies of the soul, whereas the Krittika of the Pleiades,  give birth and form to the astral emotional and subtle bodies that more closely connected to the physical plane. 

The Mother stars are the last star junction the spirit crosses until it comes to the plane of Bhumi (Earth) where it is physically birthed by the Mother.

The myth shows how the Seven Mother Stars separated from the 7 Rishi Stars. This manoeuvre created a bridge from the spirit realms to the Earth. This happened in a previous Manvantara (inestimably earlier age). This created a linking of the causal/mental plane to the astral/earth orbit, through a bridge like connection from the 7 mothers to their once beloveds – the 7 Rishis. 

An autonomy between the astral and the causal is something that is built through the astral thread known as the Antankarana. This thread exists within the spine and is equally a thread that connects the mental/causal plane to the astral, and furthermore to the earth, through the intermediary of the stars we are speaking of.

By bringing the 7 mother elements into balance we bring a balance to the Chakra in the body, astral and mental/causal levels. The seven mothers are important to balance and bring into harmony, if we are to establish connection between the various planes upon which we exist. We can exist in an unconscious way upon some planes until we take birth there. This birth goes through the seven mothers who preside over the astral plane.

The Krittikas are the mothers who from the astral level give form to the 7 physical Dhatus (body constituents) of  bone, marrow, muscle, fat, skin, blood, Bindu in the male, or Rajas in the female. The 7 mothers are the essence of astral energies that live behind, and the manifest in the Dhatus that express on the earth plane.


A Time of Cutting

Let me be the only one
To keep you from the cold
Now the floor of heaven’s lain
With stars of brightest gold

A. Lennox – Song for a Vampire 

Agni fell intensely in love with the 7 stars of Krittika, known also as the Matrikas. The seven star beauties that Agni longed for were the lovers of the Saptrishis. Sapt means ‘seven’ and Rishi means ‘seer’, they are the 7 star teachers of the Big Dipper star constellation. It was the Saptrishis themselves who summoned Agni by their Tapasya (fiery invocations).

Agni fell profoundly in Love with the 7 star goddesses of Krittika Nakshatra because of their brightness and luminosity. Agni is their opposite. The 7 Matrika star goddess’s represent the cooling creative fire of Tejas, and Agni represents the heating, consuming and destroying fire.

The balance
of these two types of fire
is the way of Tantric Wisdom.

These fires belong together as they balance each other, but at the same time they are opposites that repel and cancel each other out, much the same as the dance between night and day, cold and hot.

Agni became depressed as a result of the star beauties being unavailable. He even resorted to watching them clandestinely through the flames of the hearth. Their cool bluish glow aroused magical wonder in his heart of red flame.

Agni’s Love for seven star beauties of Krittika was so great and so intense, but it was unrealisable because they were already the lovers to the Saptrishi star sages.

Agni could not bear it any longer and he fled in flames from the celestial spheres. 

With his heart ablaze he sung his way through the astral realm of the stars in the anguish, desperation and the sorrow of a love that was not to be. One of the names of Agni is Vahani, which means ‘to fly with the wind’.

Agni escaped to the earth plane and became the first fire here. His presence threatened to consume the entire earth.

Meanwhile, up in the world of the Stars, things had gotten barren for the Krittika beloveds of the Saptrishis. The fire had literally gone out without Agni’s presence. 

It had been the invocation of Agni by the Tapasya of the Rishis that had kept the flame of love burning strongly. The Rishis became impotent old wise men that the their beloved began to suffer after Agni ran away to the earth plane.

The Saptrishis were now only fit for writing and spreading scriptural knowledge. And so they started to write and edit thoughtful texts for spreading throughout the galaxy. The once hot lovers, who had been aflame with the fires of wisdom, had become a grey ponderous bore. 

A long winter
Along winter
The sun within you,
will turn into a tongue of flame
The kiss you dream of,
will shimmer like the summer rain.

Tongue of Flame – Transglobal Under

Back on Earth Agni’s sorrowful tears were burning strong as the flames of love burned in his fiery heart. The Goddess Svaha found him weeping fiery tears in a forest made barren by his laments.

Svaha fell in love with Agni for his intensity. Svaha is a goddess who has the ability to shape-shift. When she realised the cause of Agni’s lamentations she changed her form to look just like one of the Krittika star goddesses, and together with Agni she entered into rapturous union. Their love making stayed aflame for aeons, never dwindling. Svaha transformed herself into the other Krittika stars in sequence, and Agni stayed engaged in fiery kisses with his seven tongues for aeons long. One of Agni’s names is Saptajihvi, which means ‘the one with seven tongues of flame’.

Agni was overjoyed as his wildest dreams were realised. His deepest burning wish was being eternally satisfied.

In the end Agni discovered that Svaha was behind the illusion, as she was not able to completely shape-shift into the 7th star beauty known as Arundhati. Arundhati was so devoted to her Saptrishi Lover that the force of her love would not provide sufficient illusionary astral covering to be replicated.

Agni did not revolt and was quite happy with what fate had given him. He loved Svaha for the chemistry that they had together. Svaha was imbued of pure Tejas by the power of her Love for Agni. Agni and Svaha were thereafter always together.

One may note that in many of the fire rituals of India, both Tantric and orthodox, the name Svaha is uttered, as mantras and offerings are given into a ritual fire. 

Svaha being the cooling Mantra that cools the hottest element of fire, so that it can be alchemically converted into Tejas, that is, into a psychically workable and handleable form. The story encapsulates this principle in the way that Svaha is able to calm Agni’s fiery tears from becoming all-consuming.

Intrigue ensued when the Saptrishis got word of the escapades of Agni. They didn’t know the full story as they had lost their penetrating insights into matters of the heart. Accusations of infidelity were coldly thrown at their Krittika lovers.

The Rishi’s secretly hoped to rouse Agni once more by their angry displays, but all they succeeded in doing was to distance themselves from their once beloveds.

The Krittika beauties cut away, as the flame of love no longer burned. They travelled to another part of the sky, many light years of love away, leaving the Rishi’s to their books. The Rishi’s didn’t much notice, as without Agni on the scene they were bereft of fire and were only good for the books.

As the cut to their former lovers was made, a bluish cloud of stardust formed and surrounded the Krittika. This sapphire cloud can be seen to this very day. The cutting away, earned them the name Krittika – Kritta, literally meaning ‘to cut’.

And so we see, there was a time when the 7 Krittika beauties and the Saptrishis existed beside each other as Lovers. But that time is no more. However, if one looks closely at the two star constellations, it can be seen that they still have a resemblance to each other. Could this suggest that the form of true love never dies?

Hara Ring

To join the Shuni Jayanti Ritual



June 8, 2021

10 JUNE 2021

The impending Dark-Moon on the 10th of June will be the last one in the waxing portion of the year. The Solstice that follows soon after will bring on the dwindling of the light, and the lengthening of the nights. 

Furthermore, we will have a solar eclipse upon this ritual day. This spells a particularly powerful constellation of events: the Moon will be in the Sun ruled Nakshatra of Krittika, and the Annual festival of the dark planet Shuni (Saturn) will coincide with this day.

The stories tell us that Saturn burns his father Surya, the sun, to utter blackness with a mere glare of his wrath. The glare of Saturn, astrologically darkens the bright solar force.

That we have an actual solar eclipse on Shuni Jayanti (Saturn’s birthday), occurring within a sun ruled Nakshatra, is quite a potent ‘coincidence’. What is more, is that Saturn is in its place of empowerment in the constellation of Capricorn this year. The next time will be in 12 years.

The ancestors of cultures past, had sensitivity to nature’s cycles, call it intuition if you will, they were not faced with the idols and icons of modernity to desensitize them from instinct and nature’s voice. 

Our distant ancestors would keep a low profile on eclipse days, and introvert their forces. Spiritual insights upon eclipses are magnified if we simplify the stimuli that we are surrounded by.

Tantric practitioners of the ancient science, are given to fast and stay inside in times of eclipse, practicing contemplations and ritual focus.

We might think of such things as superstition, but before we make such suppositions, let us suppose that the many modern and artificial superimpositions upon nature might have perhaps numbed our sensitivity to nature’s voice.

Tantric’s are those who attempts to listen to nature’s voice, even while navigating the machines of modernity.

To sum it up simply: This eclipse offers a potent chance of insight and vision into the nature of how we handle and use our fire and solar force. It is an event of accessing the all too often eclipsed feminine night forces, beyond the dominant solar civilisation that we live in.

Last but not least, it is a time to look at Saturnian themes, such as, how we face limitation. Saturn shows us, the opportunities inherent within suffering and pain. He is the teacher of feminine honour, who reveals the nature of rhythm and discipline.

For a more detailed consideration of these themes, you may refer to the texts below…

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June 3, 2021


The Moon is more than a glow in the sky.
It is a psychic mirror that Tantrics learn to read,
and tune into its ever changing rhythms.
Rhythms not Man-made
but ordained by Nature herself

Dark Moon
Tantra Hatha Ritual

10 June – Dark Moon

Tantric law dedicates this coming dark Moon to Saturn. Shuni Jayanti is the annual commemoration of Shuni, the dark planet.
This will be the last dark moon before the summer solstice. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, after which the days will start to recede in length and give way to the rising darkness.
It seems a paradox when considering that Shuni is the planet of darkness, that his dark moon should be in the brightest phase of the year.
This is a subject of meditation. Why should this should be so?
In the text that follows we offer some points that may help answering this question.
Let us consider Shuni’s parentage. He is the child of Surya (Sun) and Chaya (Shadow).

Shuni is the planet Saturn. Shuni means ‘the crusher’. He teaches us by bringing us to face limitation. He constricts habitual patterns and reveals the escape-routes we employ to evade reality. Shuni is reality.
He guides us into the basement of the soul.
Tantra regards Shuni as the master of all the planets because he brings us to face all yet unresolved issues and Karmic lessons.
Shuni teaches by the force of weight, taking us into the unseen side of reality. He brings us to face reality without the trimmings, or pleasant and distracting escape routes from the truth of the human condition.

Taking the form of a dark intense man who rides upon Crow, Shuni is overbearing, majestic, mysteriously and fearsomely punishing and spellbinding.

Shuni Jayanti, refers to the Birthday of Saturn.
This is an ancient ritual festival, based on planetary currents and lunar and celestial constellations that suit the work of accessing the underworld effectively.
Upon this day, rituals, prayers and offerings are made in various measures, both in exoteric and esoteric ways.
Prayers and sacrifices to lift relentless afflictions of Saturn are paid for with ritual measures by some, upon the occasion of Shuni Jayanti, measures such as fasting, hatha yog austerity, Yatra (pilgrimage) offerings and donations.

Some take the view that such offerings can appease the planet Saturn, and thereby gain remedy from his crushing darkening effect. Others take the view that by imposing austerity and challenge upon themselves, the realm of Saturn is glimpsed by the law of resonance.

On this day, Tantrics sacrifice themselves intentionally and practice austerity (tapasya) and raise unresolved issues. The purpose of this is to face reality, a reality where both the seen and the unseen meet.
This is a ritual day in the Tantric calendar to work on one’s most obstinate afflictions. Whether it is physical or spiritual or anything else. The Saturn energy opens a portal to the underworld and can provide an access to release long entrapped spirits.


The Crow Man

Shuni Kah is synonymous with Saturn for the Tantrics.
Shuni Kah is the Crow man, and is a most underworld deity. Tall with humanoid body and head of crow. He visits us in dreams as an omen that portends the excavating of the depths of the soul. He is sombre and terrifying, but he is a friend.

Tantrics who meet
with the inner planes of Shuni Kah
are approached by Crows.
Those who go very deep
on the path of the Shadow
are befriended by Crows.

The Crow is a creature of very special vision and sees people and things in another light. Crows shun those who shun the Feminine underworld in favour of the solar plane.
A person who is in touch with their shadow will have crows eat from their very hand. Noticing exactly what is happening around us, and within us, each time we hear or see crows, gives us insight into the unseen realms. This takes a sober awareness and attentiveness. Shuni is just that.
Going beyond our human constructs of speech and language, and tuning into the language of the crow, reveals much usually hidden wisdom to us. We could say this wisdom belongs in the realm of intuition.
There are some Tantric’s who have this Shuni Kah Siddhi very strong.
Such Tantric’s are very powerful healers, who are able to locate the shadows that create distress for people. They work their healing by bringing blind, lost and dark spots of the soul to awareness, so that revealing and healing can ensue.
Spending long periods in the dark, or gazing upon the shadow, gives one this Siddhi.
Shuni Kah is the Crow of the Dark Moon who has access to the nether regions. He is the one who brings the eye to the underground sediment that toxifies our lives. If this unresolved sediment it is left in the unseen world, then there is no healing, then there is flight from the real and the karmic game of fantasy rolls on. Shuni Kah is the gatekeeper to the world of dreams. He reveals the trapdoors that lead in and out of the word personal and collective illusion. He is the grand healer. Just singing his name is a powerful mantra that causes us to see in the dark.


Opening the box of the unseen

What is refused must be met with eventually.
Truth & reality are loosely used words in spirituality.
But it takes great courage & fortitude to face the truth.
The truth is not a only a sparkling wonderland,
it is burdened by the outcast shadows,
just as much as it is by glorious glow.
The most unwanted shadows
are part and parcel of the truth.
The shadow, as it may be called
is a dooorway to wholeness.
So called ‘bad’ arises
when the shadow is repressed & refused

Shuni is the great revealer. King of all the planets, he arouses the deepest Karmic imprints of the soul.

To cut the light from the dark is something that Lord Shuni will never allow us. Saturn’s affliction gets greater, the more that the shadow is turned away from and unfaced.

In a world culture that generally prizes light, ascension and rising over the dark descent into the underworld – and even seeks to crush the creative night forces out of the picture – it may be no wonder that suffering exists on a grand scale.

Shuni is pure reality without the trimmings and distractions. It is said that he has no humor and does not lighten the situation of reality by any means.

He brings the sober vision of reality, without the distraction of escape routes.

He reveals the psychic sidestepping of truth by revealing the truth.

He reveals the illusory realms where the soul evades reality with hope, belief and sentimentality

We generally don’t want Shuni. That’s the whole cause of the problems of existence. With no insight into the roots of a thing, the heart is lost.

By looking into the roots of everything, Shuni brings us to the deepest and most ancient wisdom of Heart.

A question…
What is really at the root of things?
This is the simple clear teaching of Shuni!
No need to read further.

The hamburger might come in a dazzling red shiny box, and it might be in our hand in a matter of minutes. By seeking the root of the burger at hand, we might see the roots beyond the shiny box of delights.

Everything comes in boxes, it’s worth to know the contents of the box.

By not looking into the contents of life’s many boxes, we bypass looking into the contents of the sacred heart. The heart is the greatest of all boxes that there be.

Beyond the shiny red box, is perhaps a creature that was electrocuted till its eyes popped out of its head with a slow painful scream filled death. We ourselves go blind if we don’t look deeper that the shine of the box. That’s Shuni. He is truth, and The Truth Hurts.

A remembrance of the full spectrum or reality is the sober touch that Shuni lays upon our eyes.

Many of us can afford to be indulgent in facing our suffering. We can afford to choose pleasure and eradicate boredom from our lives. We have numerous distractions and supplements available when the gaze of reality does not meet with our approval. There are endless designer means to shaper the face of reality until there is nothing real about it anymore.

We might take our tea or coffee as we read this very text, brewed just to our liking, with our favorite snack.

The time it takes to prepare it and get it down the hatch, will have seen the death of a startling amount of humans because of malnutrition. As many hungry and thirsty deaths, as the calories in our snack infact. This is the reality that Shuni reveals to us. He shows us that we are not separate from anything that happens.

He shows us how to look ordinary murder and routine atrocity in the eye, without escapism into lightening or darkening the vision of the heart. He is the royal sobriety on the throne of the soul.

Things that are swept under the carpet have a tendency to trip us up. The gaze of Shuni causes us to question well worn and established concepts we have around dark and light, good and bad. The vision of Shuni transgresses our most cherished psychic boundaries and sees into a place of foundation, basis, root and truth.

It does well to reflect on the matter of the underworld within us. We might have a lifetime of judgement upon this part of ourselves as an unholy or bad place, to best be avoided. The shadow is strengthened and created from what is unseen, feared and denied. It can eclipse the sacred heart if it is cut away. On the other hand, it can open the box of the sacred heart, if it is taken to heart.

Whatever we might think of the shadow within and without us. The Tantric axiom of ‘’What we Fear has Power over us’’, would be worth to ponder.


The Ear of Awareness

Many of the remedies and rituals of Tantra that relate to Shuni are all about ways of getting us in touch with our shadow side. The shadow is ever there, but goes usually unseen, and it may be made up of denied, feared, forgotten and repressed feelings.
It could be said that, getting the vision of the Shadow world is the beginning of the path of Tantra. And that, the integration and work with the Shadow, is the living of Tantra.
Whether it is a ritual, Mantra, or specific austerity, the main focus of Saturn related pursuits is that they are such, as to bring an awareness of that which we do not see.
The Hatha Yog practices of Mudra and Mantra that raise the unconscious forces are undertaken at this particularly favourable Dark-Moon junction of Shuni Jayanti.
The inner and outer Crow Mudras and The Chaya Karana practices of the Shadow are particularly emphasised.

The Mantras related to the Crow use specific bijas, or seed syllables, that activate the unconscious sides of our Chakras.
In Tantra they are secret Mantras that are carefully handled as they have very strong effect to arouse the latent spirits.
Such intonations, are part of the Tantric science of sound.
They resonate particular frequencies of sound vibration, that activate the Chaya Nadis (shadow-energy-lines that are latent). This is an undertaking that must obviously be handled with much care and preparation, as the shadow channels within us carry that which is out of sight and often obstinately denied.
Much of the Tantric path of healing involves bringing the spirits that rule us from the unconscious to the ear of awareness.


The Weight of Reality

Left hand Tantric practice
is very much under the rule of Shuni,
such practices raise latent & unfaced things
from the underworld.

The path of Tantra is gradual and slow, just as the movement of Saturn is. Fast track measures of haring and tearing into the unseen realms shock the psychic bodies and cause more harm than good for the unfoldment and healing of the soul.
The shadow could be likened to the roots of the tree.
We could say that the fruit is the consciousness, and the taste is the experience of reality.
If we run quickly to the taste, without regarding the roots and the quality of the fruit, we can well imagine what the condition of the tree would be.
A consideration of the nourishment needed for the roots, along with consideration of the quality of the fruit is paramount in Tantric science, when approaching the taste of reality.

Shuni raises the darkest shadow and latent karmas from deep in the unconscious.
Shuni’s face is black because he dwells in the dark and unseen, he is a slow moving planet and this slow movement represents a very important theme in Tantric practice.

“When the rhythm & speed
of our inner life is slowed down,
it becomes simplified
& the things that escape the gaze
are brought into view.”

In this way, Tantra shows us what we do not always see, and also what we don’t want to see, or perhaps even fear to face.
When we pursue the practices of breath, Mudra & Mantra, the energies of superficiality and rushing of body and spirit are brought to the slow pace of Saturn. Then the dark face of Shuni reveals that which dwells in the shadows.
Shuni sits on a throne of black bone behind the veils of boredom.
He brings suffering and strife and throws the unresolved pieces of our life right in our path. There is no speeding past distorted reflections when we are made to move in sync with his timing.
Some of the pieces he casts before our path, are sharp and heavy and cause us to fall. To go onward and inward upon the path of the soul, the pieces have to be put in order.
For us to tread the path of reality, patience must prevail and burden must be borne. To bypass these old-fashioned and seemingly unattractive virtues, is to take the path of superficiality.
The superficial path of pop culture might fly-on-by lightly like a bubble, but it has no power and no depth, and just like a bubble, is prone to pop when faced with the weight of reality.


Imprisoned Within its Own Designs

The entrance to Shuni is through the feminine. His Mother is Chaya, she is the Shadow Woman. His father is Surya, the Sun.
Chaya was not able to realise her power beside Surya. The Sun’s glow burned strongly and made her feel overwhelmed and insignificant, and so she fled, leaving behind her shadow.
This signifies how the feminine is brought into insignificance when the solar active force rules over her.
Having left her shadow with the sun, Shuni’s mother, who was then pregnant with Shuni, performed prayers and yogic austerity to Shiva under intense heat. Her effort was so great, and the heat generated was so hot, that her child Shuni was burned black in her womb.
This signifies how heat and tapasya (yogic fire of austerity) reveals the darkness within the unconscious recesses of one’s being. It reveals Shuni.
When Shuni was born and seen in his full blackness, his father the sun was shocked at how dark he was. The sun refused to recognise Shuni as his child, and accused his wife of being unfaithful. He raged greatly and insulted Chaya.
Seeing his mother thus insulted raised Shuni’s wrath!

Shuni thereby cast a single glance
upon his father the sun,
which made him lose all his light.
Shuni literally burned the sun to a crisp
with a single gaze
& turned the previously radiant father
to utter blackness.

This represents the astrological impact of Saturn, and why he is known as the Dark planet, when he appears astrologically upon the sun, all light is darkened and the unseen is highlighted.
Tantrics create this constellation in the inner realms of the soul, and gain the insight of the dark sun. That is the insight of honouring the feminine.
Saturn has the ability to take away all light within us, and take us into the parts of ourselves that have previously not been seen.

Some Tantric methods of working with the Shadow
eclipse the solar vision and make us aware
of the spirits of the unconscious world
that come to colour our lives

By seeing and addressing previously hidden and unseen forces, they are brought to vision upon the altar of the soul. Untying our awareness from blind spots is the path of healing. It is the path of totality, the relinquishing of division.
The fact in the story that Shuni’s gaze is invoked by seeing his mother insulted highlights a very important Tantric point: that Shuni is the protector of the Feminine. His slow Tantric rhythm is punishing and crushing if the Feminine is not honoured.
Shuni literally means ‘the crushing punisher’.
The subtlety of this symbol conveys how, if we ignore the feminine rhythms of our being, we will become blind to reality.

By following nature we become a Tantric and restore inner order.
Tantric law is the protector of the feminine mysteries that our civilisation and culture might blindly ignore at a price.
The night forces might be unfairly judged as being synonymous with bad.
Life is brewed in the dark of the womb. The night forces are the undercurrent of nourishment. Spiritual malnourishment might give way to spiritual seeking. We might then seek more light, when the simple answer may lay in restoring the darkness in the same balanced measure that nature keeps on showing us, time and time and time again.
We might do well to look at spiritual and cultural concepts that condemn and outlaw the dark, and put the light upon the prized pedestal.

Words are of utmost importance to the Tantric.
Words and language ‘spell’ out reality, and can cast a ‘spell’ upon us, if they are not imbued with the careful, slow and sober gaze of Shuni.

Shuni has no time for superficiality and drama. When we feed excitement, sentiment and other forms of escapist hysteria, we pay the price by casting reality out of the picture.
When we cast reality out of the picture, reality will pull us into its picture, this is a law of nature.

Shuni is often thought of as a malefic planet, but he is rather a beneficent force of order and truth. A great timely benefactor of utmost patience. Shuni has an endless amount of time at his disposal to reveal the nature of reality.
The planet Saturn has often been known as Father-Time. The Greco-Roman mythologies are well worth looking into. Cronus gives us the word chronological or Chronicle. Cronus means time and is an epithet of the planet Saturn. Cronus shares many similarities of Character with Shuni. We could basically say Cronus is the same energy as Shuni, that was picked up through the lenses of our distant ancestors in the Western hemispheres. The mythologies tell us that Cronus castrates his father for his unjust behaviour and devours his own children, just as time is ever devouring that which is born.

Who is Shuni?
Shuni is the great teacher in the realms of time.
He is austere, firm and unwavering.
His laws are potent with the startling scent of reality.
Shuni is the limiting jailer who casts escapism out of the picture.
Shuni makes us aware of how the soul is imprisoned within its own designs.


“I loved you when you opened like a lily to the heat.
If you were here I’d kneel for you,
a thousand kisses deep.
The autumn moved across your skin,
got something in my eye,
a light that doesn’t need to live,
and doesn’t need to die.
A riddle in the book of love,
obscure and obsolete,
till witnessed here in time and blood,
A thousand kisses deep.”

L. Cohen

Shuni is dark, he is deep, and he is slow. His teaching brings us to stand karmically naked before the Goddess.
Shuni’s beloved is Manda, she be a Gandharva beauty who can entice the whole creation with her feminine charms and beauty. She comes from the celestial star constellation of the Gandharvas. This is a floating astral realm, exactly in the central point between the sun and the pole star. The beings of this realm are possessed of musicality and the most subtle geometry of rhythm.
The term Gandhava has been used in India as an epithet for a great musical genius. Shuni’s beloved is the musical mistress of melody par-excellence. She has the dexterity to move within the forms and structures of all sound geometry in all realms. She is considered to be the grand mistress of all the feminine arts for this very reason.

This points deeper into Shuni’s connection to the feminine mysteries. We have already seen above, how, in honour of his mother, Shuni’s glare turned the lustre of the sun to utter blackness.
Shuni is the one who, by his slow dark rhythm, allows the feminine to open up her potential power and mysteries.
Shuni offers boundless time and space to pure feminine energy. Why this should be is a worthy subject for meditation, wherein lays a secret to becoming acquainted with him.
Shuni’s beloved has two aspects. One aspect of her is called Neela, the blue woman. Her name literally means ‘blue’ and signifies the sapphire of twilight. She is so intimate with Shuni that she lives within him in oneness.

The old teaching story of Shuni and the feminine tells us that, when he was in deep meditation on Shiva, his wife was menstruating (touched by the Goddess, as it is known in Tantra). She craved his attention and became angry and felt ignored as Shuni was deeply absorbed in Samadhi.
Her feminine wrath was aroused, and she proclaimed a curse upon him, that his gaze be ever down-cast and, furthermore, whomever he would gaze upon would be brought to face great suffering.
With everyone else fearing his gaze, Shuni was well and truly bound to his beloved. Rather than rebelling, Shuni accepted this fate and limitation sworn upon him. As he himself is the lord of limitation, he is comfortable to live by his own rules.
Thus Shuni’s gazes is ever down in the underworld and arouses suffering in all it meets. But his suffering is a blessing, making one look to the unseen, feared and denied parts of the soul, a radical and oftentimes painful pursuit. He brings creativity from crisis.
He Rides upon Crow and his beloved rides upon Swan at twilight.
One is the bird of the underworld and the other is the bird of the celestial spheres.

The completion of Tantra
is known as the Kiss of Crow & Swan.
The meeting of opposites.


The Stature of Shuni

Tantrics have since eternal times attempted extreme measures in order to become like Shuni. He is possessed with the gaze of reality, sober poised and real, with roots that reach to the very depth of things.
There is an old tantric teaching story that tells of the meeting of all the planets. They all assembled in a grand congregation to reveal their unique powers and enchantments. The meeting revealed that Shuni was the master of each and every planetary power. He had no enchantments of his own to show, but his mere gaze uprooted each enchantment with the force of reality.
Tantrics bow to the black planet Shuni.

Whether it has taken the form of
ritual, meditation or Mudra,
the principle of austerity in the Yogic sense
is to go to the places one does not know of…
it is a path of utmost effort to undo oneself.

Shuni is the most austere of all the Yogins.
All Tapasya, is done in his name.
The myths tell of many yogins and gods attempting to reach to the stature of Shuni. Yet his rhythm is so very slow that it can be crippling. Shuni’s tempo misses not a single thing.
When we slow down our life rhythm to his we begin to see everything.

Shuni is the King of austerity.
Suffering may crush the heart, but the crushing force is what makes a diamond.
There is no way around suffering. The diamond-like stars that shine through the dark night sky take voyage through the dark. It is known as the path of Karma. Suffering and blocks in our destiny point us towards that which needs to be resolved. Shuni can be thought of as the great resolver and leveller.

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