“Confucius said. A seed grows with no sound, but a tree falls with a huge noise. Destruction has noise, but creation is quiet.”
Bharani Nakshatra is the lunar house that deals with the mysteriesof life and Death.The symbol of this Nakshatra is a Yoni, which means the female vagina,The ruling planet of Bharani is Shukracharia (Venus)The god of Bharani Nakshatra is the lord of death and justice, known as Yamaraja. Yamaraja is lord of the South. Yamaraja literally means the king of binding restraint. He carries the Pasa (noose) with which he binds and draws the soul out of the body at the appointed time.He is said to have been the first immortal being to have experienced death. As the first to taste death, he became the god of death and king of the ancestors. He is the first ancestor to have paved the way.The father of Yamaraja is Surya the Sun. It is of interest to note that the sun gets exulted in the constellation of Bharani. That means, the best qualities of the sun, astrologically-speaking, are empowered by its exaltation here.Yamaraja has a twin sister named Yami and a brother named Shuni (Saturn)Just as in the case of Shuni, the animal associated with Yamaraja is the Crow.
Yamaraja, gives the Karmic results of one’s present actions in the future, whereas Shuni gives one the results of past actions in the present. We see that a Shuni (Saturn) has its debilitation point in Bharani Nakshatra. Interestingly, the stories point out that Shuni and his older brother Yamaraja do not get on very well.Debilitation of a planet, astrologically-speaking, is when it’s effect is weakened. Debilitation is the opposite of exultation. Consider also the exulted sun in Bharani. Saturn and the Sun are inimical to each other. It was Shuni who caused his father to go into eclipse by a mere gaze.
The Justice of Yamaraja, is not a punishment as we might perhaps be apt to think of it. Justice in our world might seem like restriction and punishment, but justice for Yamaraj is reflection, reverberation and the law of effect.If for example, we drink a glass of castor oil, it will have a particular effect in the Southern Hemisphere of our being. It might not be pleasant, but it has nothing to do with punishment.
The Sacred Yoni of Life
And she will be born To someone like you What I left undone She will certainly do I know she is coming And I know she will look And that is the longing And this is the hook.
L.Cohen – The Hills
Bharani means to bear weight. To bear a child, to take responsibility. The symbol of Bharani Nakshatra is a Yoni. The Yoni offers life into manifestation. This is more than just the feminine symbol of sex and reproduction. We know that the Yoni bears life into this wold physically, like a portal or doorway. On another octave, the spiritual principle of Yoni bears spiritual life. Yoni is a sacred word. It is a sacred doorway into existence. This sacred Yoni is called by many names. Some words for the sacred Yoni are some of the most derogatory of the language. It is worth pondering why the Yoni bears so many words of derogatory connotation. These are perhaps hidden words that are not part of pleasant society. Words like cunt, fanny, gash, pussy or fuck-hole are a sexualisation of the sacred door of the Yoni. They are words that carry a power, but they also depart with the full range of power and sacredness of the Yoni. These descriptions may certainly be an aspect of the Yoni, but they tie the energy of the Yoni to a minuscule corner and portion of its power. The power of the Yoni is infinite. It is the power of the sacred doorway. It is the doorway that carries spirit into manifestation.
A thought is conceived and an action is undertaken. That is energy graduating through the layers, from the psychic realm unto the physical.Let us take a practical example of this principle in action: You may be at home with no ingredients in the Kitchen. You may conceive an idea to bake a cake. The application of your intention follows with a bit of shopping, stirring, pouring and mixing. The house soon is scented by the sweet fragrance of a baking cake, and then soon after, the cake stands grandly upon the table.The cake was conceived as a psychic conception, and after a creative process, has taken birth and is ready to eat. This is the principle of the womb of conception, and the Yoni of manifestation that Bharani presents. The cake comes into manifestation through the psychic principle of Yoni.Baking may be fun, sweet, warm and tasty. But that is not all that it is. Baking can also involve getting burned.If we divorce the cake from the art of baking, then we get a store-bought one, rather than the birth and living artistry of our creative faculties. So when considering the Yoni of Bharani, we are to look beyond the hole that carries the function of sex and childbirth. It is verily the channel of the creative womb. It carries creative force by pouring into manifestation. Working with the star of Bharani is to work with and worship of the sacred Yoni.
Bharani Nakshatra is ruled by Shukracharia. This is Venus. To the Tantrics, he is the Guru of the Asuras. Shukra literally means the male seed essence. When the seed enters the Yoni, it has the potential to create life.These two energies of seed and Yoni, obviously work like that upon the physical plane. But this is the tangible aspect of the manifestation of a subtle phenomenon. The psychic, or even physical seed or Shukra meeting the Yoni, does not lead to instantaneous manifestation. First it must find the doorway in, it must grow, and then it must find the doorway out and into manifestation, just like the baby, or the cake baking. It is a process of gradual enlivening and manifestation. The store-bought cake, of course exists. But it’s not our conception, in the same way that a cake baked by our own hand is.Shukracharia is the deity who is in possession of a special Vidya (wisdom).Mritsanjeevani Vidya is the knowledge and magical power to bring the dead back to life. This is a point to meditate upon, as to why Shukracharia (Venus) should have this power to bring life to the dead. Meditate upon this and consider what it’s implications might be?
Bharani is autonomy. Its potential is conception and birth. In both a physical, and spiritual sense.Taking on a couple of fancy spiritual slogans and set of beliefs, is like going for a wholesale, fast-food, ready cut, ready packaged slice of cake. It may seem to taste fine, but it’s most probably void of Prana and life-force. When our spiritual vision is truly conceived from the sacred Yoni in our soul, then it is different to taking on a ‘store-bought-ideology’. To truly birth a spiritual view, the seed of effort must be ploughed into a fertile soil. This takes patience, work and the awareness of timing.Tapasya is the drive of the seed. It is planting in the garden of the soul. The sacred Yoni is the very garden of our soul.
️The Realm of Yamaraja
She’ll step on the path She’ll see what I mean My will cut in half And freedom between For less than a second Our lives will collide The endless suspended The door open wide
L.Cohen – The Hills
The place between life and death is the realm of Yamaraja, his world is called Naraka. It is the place of spirits. Yamaraja is also known by the name Pretaraja, which means the king of ghosts. The land of Yamaraja, Naraka, is often incorrectly described as hell. It is a realm where one looks into the mirror of the soul and justly has their shadow reflected back to them. There is a story of the sage known as Durvasa Muni who entered Naraka that highlights this principle. When Durvasa Muni entered Naraka, suddenly it was transformed to a paradise. It was transformed because of the quality of his heart which that was full of love, sweetness and devotion.And so Naraka, is the mirror of truth. It is the real unveiled and revealed, it reflects everything, and that includes that which is hidden, buried and unresolved in our heart. Yamaraja is the grand lord of fairness and justice. He is a judge in this sense.
Yamaraja is the collecter of souls. Yamaraja means restraint and Raja implies king.He is the lord of justice. He is the well-timed restraint of destructive impulse, he is destiny. A story that demonstrates his restraint runs thus. Once he grew angry at his mother for expressing what he considered unjust behavior, and upon impulse, he went to kick her in a fit of fury.Realising what he was doing, Yamaraja restrained the swing of his foot in mid-air. Just has his name means, Yamaraja the king of restraint reigned-in his foot mid-swing, and so the fateful blow was negated.Yamaraja knew it was an Adharmic action to boot his mother with a full-pelt kick, and so he kept to the laws of Dharma and applied Ahimsa, which means non-violence.
Dharma will be considered in the section that follows the next, entitled ‘The Laws of Dharma’. Simply put, Dharma is wise action. ‘A’ as the prefix becomes a negator here, and so Adharma means unwise action.The kick was restrained but it was not without consequence. His mother saw that he had intended to kick her, and she in turn cursed his foot to rot away and be ridden with death, rotting with worms and all manner of creepy crawlies. For this reason, Yama is known as Sirnapada, which means the shriveled-up foot.And so Yamaraja had to accept the consequences of almost breaking his own codes of wise action. This was Yamaraja’s initiation into the realm of death. He got an even deeper insight and initiation into the nature of action and consequence by this.That Yamaraja was such a wise, fair and just being, is what gave him his position as the god of the law.The curse on his foot was negated by his father. And from the celestial spheres, the rotting flesh and worms fell upon the earth and brought death to our realm, which was said to have previously been a place of immortality.It is interesting that the foot symbolism appears here. The foot is the body part connected to Bharani Nakshatra. It is the Southern-most portion of the body. Yamaraja rules the Southern direction.
The Indian custom of turning the feet of the dead towards the South is worth pondering in this respect. Yamaraja rules the land of the Southern world known as Naraka. It has many divisions described in the writings, sometimes it appears like a very complex map of inner realities, whereas in reality the principle of Naraka is rather straight forward. It is the souls mirror. It’s many divisions are reflections of the inner Karma of the soul. Naraka has many names, sometimes it is called Yamalokh or Yamapur… realm or city of Yamaraja It is also known as Pitrilokh which translates at the realm of the ancestors. Its many sub-divisions have their own names, they are places where one enters the universe of their inner Karmic reality, somewhat like a psychic hall of mirrors. Shuni (Saturn) is the brother of Yama. It is interesting to note that Shuni also has an affliction that makes him rather lame.
There are several stories of astrological significance that tell of how Shuni became lame. Let us briefly consider the story that fascinatingly correlates to the above story of kicking the mother. Shuni also went to kick his mother, but he did not restrain the kick like his brother Yamaraja had done. Shuni did actually kick his mother, and thus his foot was cursed, giving him a slow limping gate. He is in fact the slowest of the visible 9 planets of the Yogins. There is another foot story that involves Yamaraja, that we will now consider as we travel further South, to the section directly below. This time it is Yamaraja who is the recipient of a kick.
Escaping Death & Killing Death
Let us look at the origin of Yamaraja, the lord of death.The father of Yamaraja is the sun who is known as Surya. When the Suns wife was pregnant with Yama, Surya gazed upon her, but his light was so bright that she had to close her eyes and shield herself from his burning gaze. The Sun took it as an insult to his pride, and in a fit of fiery rage, he cursed his wife to give birth to a child that would be the destroyer of humankind. That child was born as Yamaraja.And indeed Yamaraja became the great god of mortality.This is an important point in grasping the energy and secret of this Nakshatra. Consider, if you will, that Bharani rules the womb and the Yoni. The womb is the place of conception and the Yoni is the place of birth. While Yamaraja was still in the womb, he had the curse of the planetary solar-force thrust upon him.
That curse became Yamaraja’s destiny after he was born. This story points at what we discussed in the first section, of how the conception of a thing begins with an impulse… as in the wish to bake the cake. The energy and intent of the conception manifests in the birth and in the destiny. As soon as a soul is born as a mortal upon the earth, the assistants of Yamaraja start to move closer. From the very first breath, death is marked, and Yamaraj’s attendants who are known as the Yamadutas, move ever closer.Upon the last breath, they take the soul to Yamalokh, which is the world of Yamaraja. There the soul goes to meet the grand king of Justice who is Yamaraja.
There are a few rare instances of souls escaping Yamaraja one particular story concerns the allotted death of a young boy that echoed back upon Yamaraja as his very own death.
Markandeya Rishi was a sage who was destined to die at 16 years of age.
Markandeya was a Yogi who worshiped Shiva day and night. He is said to be the legendary author of Chandi Partt. This is a mantra dedicated to Durga.
When his 16th year arrived, the attendants of Yamaraja came to take him to their lord.
Markandeya held on tight to the stature of the Shiva lingam and prayed to live. So intense was his resolve that the Yamadhutas could not extricate him from his grip upon the Shiva Lingam.
Then Yamaraja himself came riding on his Buffalo with his noose in hand, ready to lasso the youth and take him to the realm of justice and truth. Normally the personal assistants who are known as the Yamadutas come to collect the soul. Yamaraj only comes on rare occasions when the soul is very powerful. The Yamadutas are the Pitris (ancestors) they are sometimes pictured as hideous frightening beings. Again, they are like the mirror of Naraka, they appear as a reflection of our soul. What is of note here is that Bharani Nakshatra holds the energies of ancestral-generational curses and misfortunes. We have already seen in the narrative of the story, a surprising interplay of curses going on, the curse of the mother upon the son and the father also laying a curse upon the unborn fruit of the womb that was to ripen into Yama, the god of Bharani Nakshatra.
The death that Yamaraja brings, can also be taken to mean the opportunity to meet the death of cycles of generational and ancestral Karma.
On with the story, Yamaraja cast his noose towards the boy, but it lassoed both the boy and the Shivalingam. Yamaraja set off on his Buffalo and attempted to draw the boy into his realm.
Shiva was enraged by this behavior of Yamaraja, both for taking his devotee in his sacred place, and for lassoing the lingam in which Shiva himself lived.
And so Shiva appeared from the lingam and kicked Yamaraja with thunderous force on the chest. Yamaraja died and Markendeya was saved. The form of Shiva that killed Yamaraja in a rage is known as Kalanataka, which means the destroyer of time.
Things seemed fine for a time. But with Yamaraja the great lord of death out of action, people stopped to die and the earth began to sink from the weight into the waters.
The universal gods pleaded with Shiva to restore cosmic order by bringing Yamaraja back to life. This was duly done on condition that Markandeya was out of his reach. And so life and death went on as usual once again.️
The realm of Yama is separated from the earth by a river known as the Vaitarni. The river is said to change according to one’s Karma.For those who follow Dharma is is filled with elixir, for those who follow Adharma it becomes blood. It can become utterly noxious, filled with rotting flesh and excreta. The river Vaitarni mirrors one’s inner Karma accordingly. The toxins in ones soul are simply reflected in the river. It can be filled with hideously brutal underwater animals, and it can even burst into flame. The river to the Kingdom of Yamaraj reflects the truth of our soul back to us. On the way to the great lord of justice there is no avoidance of what is in our heart. There is no hiding behind actions and self created delusions, even our good intentions and Karma hides not the truth of the soul when on the way to Yama.It may be noted that the river Vaitarni is somewhat reminiscent of the River Styx of the Greek mysteries.
The Sacred Yoni Of Death
I can’t make the hills The system is shot I’m living on pills For which I thank God My page was too white My ink was too thin The day wouldn’t write What the night penciled in.
L.Cohen – The Hills
We have looked at the Yoni that bears us into life. The impulse that begins in the womb and expresses itself through the door of Yoni into manifestation.This is half of the power of the sacred Yoni.The other half of the Yoni is the doorway that takes us out of manifestation. Towards another level of being. This is not the Yoni of birth, but the Yoni of death.The dark mysterious vortex that draws the manifest back into itself.The physical Yoni takes the seed of life into itself, like a death from one life towards the growth of another.It is of note to consider that Shukracharia is the Yogic name for Venus, Shukra is the male seed and Charia means the deliverer.The seed of life is delivered into the Yoni of Bharani.This holds true on a multiplicity of levels.Yamaraja is the force that delivers the seed of our life into the Yoni of Bharani towards the womb of death, to the place where the forces of creation and death meet.His realm is just a hint beneath the surface. It is the universal sex chakra.
Yami and Yama
A story tells that Yamaraja had a sister who was named Yami. Yami and Yama were twins. Even though she was his sister, she had a kind of obsession with him sexually, and did her utmost to seduce him. Yami desired Yama, and just longed to be in sexual union with her brother. She tried and tried her best to allure, persuade and manipulate him in every way possible, but Yam was resolute in his refusal. His resolution in this and many other cases, to always adhere to what he thought was wise action, is what earned him the name Yamaraja. When Yamaraja died at the hand, or rather foot of Shiva, – as the story in the last section above highlighted – his twin sister Yami could not stop weeping.She cried the river Yamuna into being, Yami is also called Yamuna Devi for this reason. She cried uncontrollably from an unrequited love for her brother.The gods could not stop her tears which threatened to drown the whole creation, and thus was created the night, so that Yami would stop crying and forget and go to sleep. Previous to her tears there was no night. Yamaraj represents Dharma (which is the topic of the following section) and Yami represents its opposite of Adharma.
️The Laws of Dharma
Yamaraja is Dharmaraja. Dharma is wise action, it is often interpreted as justice, righteousness and rules. Yama stands for the principles of wise action that he believes in. He is firm in Dharma. This is why he is appointed as the lord of justice and fair retribution.
Rather than a punisher or a mere dispenser of retribution, Yamaraja is a mirror of fair reflection, The stories that we have considered thus far of his life and death, point to his concern with action and its outcome and effect. He himself bridled his impulse of violence against his mother in a moment of rage. Yamaraja is possessed of the utmost resolve and restraint in the dramatic fires of sentiment and emotion, Yamaraja is dignity par excellence. He is not a cruel punisher as he might be portrayed. Certainly powerful and imposing, riding on a mighty Buffalo while chanting the Mantra Hala Hala!… from out the underworld caverns of his powerful belly. Hala Hala! is the poison that only Shiva can drink. Hala Hala! is the ritual cry of the Tantric Yogin Yamaraja is dark and imposing in the way he reflects that which we have not faced. He reveals the Karmic accounts that we have woven. His only punishment, if it can be called that at all, is the mirror of absolute justice and true reflection.
Yamaraja means rule and restraint, to tie, and to bind. The Yogic Yamas and Niyamas are the rules of, and the fruits of Dharma. They are the rules of action that do not weave one into complexities of Karma. We will look at the laws of Dharma in a list below.
The tenants of Yamaraja are the laws of Dharma. They are sometimes called the dont’s and the do’s. They can be given a multiplicity of meanings and are interpreted in various ways according to the essential meaning. This is a subject where each Yama and Niyama can be talked on extensively in the context of Yogic practices. For now let a very basic list suffice.
Some writing give 5 Yamas and Niyamas, while some give up to 10 or more. The Yamas are the rules of Dharma, the restraint. Yama actually means to rein something in. This is interesting because the power-object of Yamaraj is a noose, with which he lassos and reins in the soul when it’s time has come to go to Naraka.
None can escape the noose of Yamaraja. But actually, there was one character who did, as we have already seen above in the ‘escaping and killing death’ section. We could say that the Yamas are the rules of Dharma, while the Niyamas are the fruits of Dharma.
Here they are listed below:
Ahimsa – kindness, non-harming
Satya – truth, honesty
Asteya -not taking
Bhramacharini – honour of the sacred sexual energy that we carry
Yamaraja rules the word of the departed from his throne which is known as Vicharabhu. The name of his throne is derived from the root vicharati, which means to move in all directions. His seat of power has the power to follow the soul into its deepest corners and most hidden recesses.Yamaraja reflects the souls Karma back to it. For this he has an important helping assistant with him. A kind of left hand-man at his side. This is Chitragupta. Chitragupta is the divine record keeper who sees everything, both hidden and revealed. Chitragupta assists Yamaraja in revealing the colours of the soul.In some ways, we could think of Chitragupta as the Akashic-Chronicle of all recorded events. Chitragupta keeps a register that records all things. This register is known as Agrasandhani.It records everything, from the most secret thoughts, to the most obvious actions.
The Name Chitragupta is worth looking at here. Chitra means luminescent, sparkling like a jewel, just like the Nakshatra of Chitra which represents the celestial jewel. Gupta means hidden, veiled, secret or dark. So, implicit in the name of Chitragupta, is the principle of seeing both the revealed and the hidden. And this is exactly his role. He assists Yamaraja in revealing all the corners of the souls who enter his after-life Domain. In Naraka, the medium and skin that covers the innermost self is stripped away, the clothing of the body and identifications with our actions is stripped bare.
The Eternal Cycle
It is to be remembered that Tantra is a most practical subject. We have here looked at some of the symbols of Bharani Nakshatra. Each principle that we have considered contains an inherent lesson and subject of meditation.By pondering upon symbols and principles of Bharani Nakshatra, we get acquainted with its secret. Every Nakshatra carries a deep life lesson to us. Reading a few facts about stars and gods is easily forgotten as a useless clutter of information if the heart is not involved to look deeper into the eternal symbols of destiny. If Bharani is a star that teaches anything, then it teaches creative and deep involvement with that which we are doing. And so, the eternal cycle continues to dance between life and death. Out of one Yoni and back into another. Both life and death are conceived in these wombs of Bharani… and finds entrance or exit through the door-like Yoni that swings both ways.
To join the ritual on Saturday the 31st of August 2021
The full Moon of Saturday the 24th of July will be in the Nakshatra (lunar house) of Uttara-Ashadha. This will be the ritual day of Guru Purnima, which is a central day in the Tantric calendar of celebrating and honouring the teachers and elders who carry sacred wisdom.
This lunar junction of the Guru meets us annually when the Moon is in the star of Uttara Ashada. A position of power that encompasses the vast array of universal spiritual forces. The other major Tantric festival that occurs when the Moon is in Uttara Ashadha, that is worth mentioning here, is Dusshera. This is the 10th and concludent night of victory after the 9 nights of the Goddess in the Navaratri ritual festival. The Navaratri ritual festival links together all aspects of the feminine mysteries, by traveling through a spiritual story that traces the path of the Goddess and her many expressions. This point of multiplicity is greatly poignant to the energy of Uttara Ashadha as we shall consider in the next section below.
This star signifies hard-earned victory and accomplishment. Its victory is one that comes through drawing all psychic and physical forces into focus.
In our daily lives, we regularly apply this principle of gathering a multiplicity of forces together towards accomplishing an activity. For example, the act of just going shopping, draws together many forces towards the single end of acquiring groceries. It encompasses a vast array of activities… from finding our hat and coat and putting on our shoes, to navigating the many aisles of a supermarket, to gathering the right ingredients for the cake we are baking. This is a mundane example of an accomplishment that many of us might take for granted. It has elements of the accomplishment of Uttara Ashadha in that it draws together many elements and abilities. In the case of Uttara Ashadha, all the universal powers and skills are drawn together unto the attainment of the greatest of all victories… which is the revealing of the sacred heart.
Bringing All Things Together
Uttara Ashadha is sometimes called the star of victory and accomplishment, this is the wish and desire of this Star energy. Ashadha is the urge and wish that focuses on the victory.
The god or gods that dwell on this Nakshatra are very interesting when considering the nature of the energy that this star carries to us. The god of this star is Vishwadeva, who is not a singular being, but rather the collection of all goddesses and gods. The Vishwadeva(s) is/are the collective of all the goddesses and the gods. They are nourished by, and in turn nourish this star through the reflective lunar mediary of the Moon.
Vishwa literally means all and everything. Vishwadeva is the ultimate plurality of all sacred celestial beings. This multiplicity is the nature of the far-reaching force that is delivered by this Nakshatra.
It is also of note that some Puranic writings highlight a specific number celestial gods who are also called the Vishwadevas. These 10 Vishwadeva deities and are the 10 qualities of Uttara Ashadha.
Vishwa is a word that implies multiplicity, interestingly, there is no one unanimous account of what the Vishwadeva really is. Some accounts single out a specific number of celestial deities, some accounts signify all deities, while some Mantras and accounts acknowledge all Devas and Asuras as coming under the title of Vishwadeva. What is unanimous in all accounts, is the idea of multiplicity and the conjunction of many forces.
And so, Vishwadeva is the god of this Nakshatra, as we have seen, it can be taken to mean the conglomerate of all goddesses and gods and even Asuras, but it can also be taken to mean 10 specific deities who carry the traits of Uttara Ashadha. Sometimes an additional 2 Vishwadeva deities are also given, but we will highlight 10 for now.
Let us list the qualities of the wisdom of this Nakshatra, by naming the 10 Vishwadeva’s, and consider the 10 wisdom qualities that the Nakshatra of Uttara Ashadha represents and transports.
1) Vasu is fullness, expansiveness, illumination and brightness. This is wisdom in a broad sense. Wisdom that encompasses all things. It is a wisdom that is both elevated in metaphysical principles, but equally, it is a wisdom that is able to articulate on a street level. A wisdom that is able to touch and make contact with any arena of life. This is a totally non-exclusive quality to put it in a nutshell.
2) Satya is truth and reality without sentiment or bias or restriction to any singular perspective. Again, it carries the fullness and broadness of the previously highlighted Vasu quality. And because of this vast perspective, it is able to see the wide picture of reality in which all perspectives are at once acknowledged. This is the quality of not leaning towards any particular side. It is a quality of not escaping reality through any drama, distortion or sentiment.
3) Kratu is focus of intention and will. This is the measured expertise that knows how to apply just the right amount of exertion. It is the focus that has forbearance and a deep intelligence, measurement and strategy. Kratu feeds its own certainty. Once it has considered the best angle of action and is certain about its course, it will approach its action with the quality of a charging elephant that will attempt to go through everything with unwavering persistence and urge.
4) Daksha is skill, it is geometry and dexterity, it is a subtle creative vision that is able to link all things together into inner and outer harmonious forms. This is the skill of ritual, the ability to cloth metaphysical realities in tangible form. This is the skill of Tantra.
5) Kaala is Time. It is the power to have the awareness of the reality of time in the phenomenal world, and at the ‘same-time’ it is the quality and power to be able to go to that plane of reality which is beyond the constraints of time. Interestingly, Kala pronounced with the shortly accentuated ‘A’, means artistry, an artistry with a love for carefully detailed beauty. This is the artistry that comes from timing. Timing and rhythm are like the forms in which beauty is distilled, refined and expressed.
6) Kaama is desire, it is the urge of the soul, the unstoppable wish and hope (remember that Asha in Ashadha means urge and hope) Dha means wealth, this is the victory of desire. Not necessarily the fulfillment of desire as one is apt to think. But rather, to be possessed of the secret urge is the wealth itself here. Kaama is the root power behind all desire, it is the spiritual longing and wanderlust that underlies all desires. Pure desire, if you will.
7) Dhrti is concentrated ruthless firmness and focus, this is the focused shot of the arrow. It is the ability to hold to a thing with full psychic involvement and endurance and patience. This is a quality of a healer and a Tantric magician, who focuses upon a thing and therefore manifests it, through their sheer Shakti of focused power.
8) Kuru is ancestral power, it is the strong relation to the realm of the ancestors. It is a spiritual sensitivity that at once lives in the manifest world, while at the same time being aware of the subtle movements of the inner planes. Kuru is to see the multi-dimensional interrelationship between matter and ghost, or spirit and body. The word Kuru is derived from the root Kri, which means to do or to act. Our actions carry power when they are related to our roots. When the acknowledgment of our roots and heritage informs our action, then it is truly potent. Kuru then is connected to actions of healing ancestral imprints, so as to potentise and bring healing depth to our action.
9) Pururavas is abundance, broadness and generosity. The generosity of Pururavas is the kind that comes from a trust in the invanquishable and self-perpetuating well-spring of the heart. Pura means fullness it is to be remembered. The quality of Pururavas is that it’s not afraid to take risks or to lose. There is a deep trust that beneath any apparent loss and failure, is am inexhaustible wellspring of reserve life power. Pururavas is on the way to Madravas because of this fearlessness and trust in life force. Generosity is not just a saintly virtue. It is a natural quality of the wisdom principle of ever-fulfilling a inexhaustible force. When we move away from the inexhaustible force of nature, we simply become exhausted. Pururavas is natural power that is effective because it burns like a steady flame, we could liken this to the endurance of an elephant that knows deeply about the wise handling and distribution of its life-force.
10) Madravas is natural power and joy of heart. It is accomplishment and the celebration of the freedom of the sacred heart. We are here dealing with a joy that is not dependent on any condition or form of entertainment. It is an inner natural power of spiritual essence that is not obscured by any hint of Ahamkara
So as we have now seen, The Nakshatra of Uttara Ashadha draws from a wide array of universal forces. This star brings together the collection of a vast array of attributes. Let us say that it is the star that possesses the celestial toolbox, and has access to the broadest and most diverse range of spiritual instruments.
The Celestial Tusks
The two twin stars of Ashadha are represented by Yogins as the elephant tusks of the celestial realm. Uttara Ashadha is the matured elephant power that represents the full potential of grounded celestial forces in an earthly sense. The Yogins connect to, and invoke the penetrating force these dual astral-tusk-points of energy, in rituals where Uttara Ashadha is worked with.
Ganesh is the grand Chakravatin, which means he is the earthly foundation structure upon which all the other Chakra spin. Ganesh and all creatures that have tusks are connected to Uttara Ashadha Nakshatra. The tusk obtrudes beyond the sphere of the body towards the sphere of vision… in a similar way that horns do.
This is the star of focused victory. A focus sharply focused with a penetrating sharp tusk like urge of vision. The tusk of Uttara Ashadha points – through its focus – towards a victory to which it is very close. Remember Uttara means mature, and the wise force of maturity is implicit here. This star has the celestial blessings of its ruling deity, which as we have seen, is in fact the collective of all goddesses and gods, or alternatively, are highlighted as a group of the 10 qualities of wisdom. This is indeed a heavy Nakshatra, possessed of the force of wisdom, we could say the heaviest. It is like the weight of Ganesh, the elephant god who sits at the very foundation of the Chakras. It is the very weight of deep Saturnian wisdom in the cavern of the soul.
Uttara Ashadha is the focus of celestial forces into the vessels of earthly being. It deals with bringing together the most celestial with the most earthly, as we shall soon see in the next section.
The symbol of this lunar house is a tusk. Indeed, the energy that this Nakhatra imparts has the ability to bring us the tenacity of teeth and bone. The elephant and other tenacious creatures with tusks are linked to this Nakshatra.
Uttara-Ashadha is often considered to be the 21st Nakshatra. This is interesting when we consider that the number 21 is sacred to the Ganesh, the god with the elephant head. The number 21 further links Ganesh to Nakshatra. Ganesh rituals are well-known to involve 21 offerings along with the chanting of his 21 names. Ganesh as well as many other deities – as we shall see – are linked to this Nakshatra.
Dual singularity of Focus
Big obstacles are overcome by focused force and endurance – is the teaching of this Nakshatra, focus being the operative word here. Uttara Ashadha is ruled by Surya (the Sun) and the quality of this Nakshatra is the transmission of powerful burning solar force through the mirror of the Moon. Where an object meets the sun, there is a shadow, to take away the shadow is to take away the object. Uttara Ashadha is certainly singularity of focus, but the paradox is that it’s singularity is aware of the multi-layered dualities of life. The dualities of life can be perceived as a singularity, for example, when the principle of sun and shadow are taken together. Sun and shadow are a unity when the object is in the picture, take away the object, and we have duality and endless metaphysical abstractions only. The object can’t be taken out of the picture if reality is valued. The two tusks of the elephant bring together dualities by the space of life between them.
In the next concludent section of this text, we shall take a look at a spiritually cosmological teaching story that highlights the dualities of the tusk that saved the earth.
Uttara means mature and Ashadha implies a victory that is eternal. But more accurately, it is the desire and urge to reach that victory that this star presents. This star moves one towards victories by its power of enduring focus and discipline. It brings all seeming dualities and forces together in a single point. Or let us rather say, two unified points, like the tusks of an elephant.
The wisdom that Uttara Ashadha Nakshatra brings to us, is a wisdom that is aware of the dualities of light and shadow upon all its octaves. To understand and know a thing comes through understanding and knowing it’s opposite. To truly see the revealed, is to acknowledge and be aware of the unrevealed half.
Focus is a quality where all our powers are beamed in one direction and one direction alone. Tantra is but the art and science of focus, ritual is focus. Extraneous expenditure of our life forces must be reigned in and harnessed towards the most needed point in the path of our destiny, if we are to receive the teaching of Uttara Ashadha.
Uttara-Ashadha gives the teaching of enduring focus. As already outlined, its focus is singular and unwavering – this is the quality of the Guru. The Guru is an uncompromising force that endures in the vision for the very deep and enduring truths. Guru Purnima is an age-old festival Uttara Ashadha Moon festival that honours the Guru.
In a world of beliefs opinions, likes, dislikes, dualistic information and endless modes of self-expression of all of these, we risk the very opposite of what Uttara-Ashadha wishes to show us. If we spread our energies wide and thin, we risk dispersing our psychic spiritual power. But at the opposite spectrum, if we gather our forces together in concentrated unity and singularity of urge, we bring all the celestial forces to one point. This is the secret of communing with Vishwadeva. It means to open ourselves to all the forces by maintaining a seat of power. Like being in an observatory or a planetarium that sees all the multitudinous revolutions of realities orbiting the spirit that we are.
Uttara-Ashadha is the very opposite of light dispersing action. Guru is an adjective that means heavy, who is just like the elephant energy, that is the prominent earthly expression of the weight of this Nakshatra. Just like the weight of memory possessed by the Elephant that never forgets… Uttara Ashadha gives power to mind and memory. Heavy weighted enduring focus is given to us when the full Moon is in this lunar house. When the full Moon meets this Nakshatra, it presents the gift of its qualities to us on earth. We will open up in ritual to invoke and receive the lunar emanations of Uttara Ashadha Nakshatra.
The Power of the Earthly Tusk
Varaha is the Boar headed earthly deity of mighty tusk, who carries the lesson of Uttara Ashada very well, so let us consider it here.
The story of Varaha tells of how he saved the earth from drowning in the subterranean waters when the Asuric forces attacked and threatened to ruin the earth. Varaha and Bhumi (Earth Goddess) are lovers, together they birthed Mangala (Mars). Varaha saved Bhumi from drowning in the subterranean waters by lifting her in his tusks. The impossible concentration it took Varaha to lift the earth out of the enveloping waters in which she was drowning, required the exclusion of all else but the matter at hand. Or rather we could say, the matter at tusk – for Varaha hooked the earth in his tusks and carried her to safety.
Varaha presides over the Dhatu (physical element) of bone – this is the most hard of the Dhatus, and symbolises strength solidity of focus. Varaha, in saving the earth, drew together all skills and abilities towards the single end. The tusks are sharp and – being two – represent the dualistic forces concentrated into one action to achieve the victory that it is our Karma to accomplish. What that victory is, is a personal journey to discover. The discovery and realisation of our destiny requires dualistic forces to come together. This is the focus of Varaha, he is a most mighty deity… mighty of focus. Uttara-Ashadha can be seen to signify the imminent victory of the very real and deep pressing matters. Its imminent victory comes through the application and uniting together of all extraneous forces and subtle energies. Its victory can’t be assumed without endurance and determined clarity of focus. This endurance and determined clarity of focus is a Saturnian quality.
The story of Varaha saving the earth from drowning in the waters holds a Saturnian code within it. The Saturn ruled constellation of Capricorn is known as Makara to the Yogins. This is the constellation of the crocodile, who gives us the wisdom and power to articulate deeply between the dualities of its realms of mastery – water and earth. Just as the mighty and fearlessly focused Varaha and Bhumi reveal the initiation of earth and water through the power of the tusk.
Hasta literally translates as Hand. The Nakshatra of Hasta is situated in the constellation of Virgo. This Lunar house is concerned with skill, dexterity and balance. If we look deeper behind the symbolism of Hasta, we see into the nature of the skill that this star imparts to us. The skill of Hasta Nakshatra is concerned with transition and the balancing force of handing one thing over to another. The ruling planet of Hasta Nakshatra is the Moon and the ruling deity is Savitr the sun god. These are explicitly two opposites. But there is yet another duality that works in unison when we consider the Sun god Savitr. Savitr is of beautiful golden hands, he hands over the power that enlivens the sun at sunrise. Savitr is the name that the Yogins give to the sun after sunset and before sunrise… the midnight sun if you will. Savitr is the one who illuminates and empowers the rising sun from dawn to dusk. At each dawn, Savitr hands over the celestial-stage unto Surya. They can be thought of as twins that bring us the ebb and flow of sunrise and sunset.
The Initiation of Hasta
The theme of halves is a central key to seeing into the nature of Hasta Nakshatra. We have seen already how the ruling deity is Savitr of the illuming force behind the Sun, and we have seen that the ruling Planet of Hasta Nakshatra is the Moon.
These two opposite energies are instrumental in giving Hasta the energy of moving between extremes. The skill that the Hasta star constellation brings us is its ability to see across the whole range of the spectrum, and see into the nature of halves.
Remember that we are dealing here with the star of utmost dexterity.
Speaking of halves, we know that the Moon has two halves, the rising and falling, dark and light halves. Hasta is the hand that can reach to the depths as well as to the pinnacle. Hasta carries the energy of both the Full Moon and the Dark Moon. Hasta is the hand that can expand and dilate. It is the extreme of skill in all directions.
When we peer a little deeper, we see more, indeed, Savitr, the god who dwells in this star constellation, confers vision and insight. He is the enlivening illuminator.
The constellation of Hasta makes us aware of details. Working with Hasta Nakshatra brings to us the vision of the minute things that we might easily overlook.
The smallest details hold the deepest keys, for the smallest details are the things we don’t easily see if we are out of rhythm.
Hasta brings us the fascination and beauty of details, details might be seen as something tedious, boring and unimportant. This attitude towards finery comes when we ourselves have lost touch with nature’s rhythm. The slapdash approach is the path with no heart. If we look closely, we will see that the disregard of details is at the root of all ills.
How to come to the beauty and magic of details becomes the question here?
A thorough examination of things is the key to psychic and spiritual health.
The beauty of awakening Hasta is that we need no special equipment or measures.
We could go so far as to say we require no spiritual practice or intelligently philosophical insight, even no spiritual teaching. Details themselves become the Teacher and the teaching when we align to them.
Hasta is an internal spiritual energy of simply noticing and caring for the details.
Hasta has a secret teaching:
If we address what might seem like insignificant details, the secrets of wisdom open up. It takes power, patience and the acknowledgment of a steady and regular rhythm, to arrive at the wisdom of all wisdom. Hasta is the helping hand to the gateway of wisdom.
Just like the ruling planet of Hasta that is the very epitome of steady rhythm. If we consider the Moon clock as the ancients did, we come to intuition… we come to wisdom.
By simply noticing the movements of Lunar energy and the effect they have upon us, we learn more than any astro texts can ever tell us. When we ignore the law of rhythm, we risk physical and psychic ruin.
The Ancient Yogic science put the Moon in the position of the greatest of all lovers. The Moons beloveds are the 27 star sisters known as the Nakshatra’s. As the Moon moves through the constellations, each are payed a visit under the law of celestial rhythm.
There is a point that is brought out here. The Moon does not alter his speed, but he appears to spend a longer time with the star sister of Rohini Nakshatra, thereby breaking rhythm. Rohini is said to be his favorite star sister who gets an extended stay of attention lavished upon her.
This imbalance evokes controversy, jealousy and scandal with dire consequences to the Moon.
Why the Moon spends more time with Rohini is an eternal mystery that makes no sense when the degrees of distance are the same for all the star sisters, and the lunar speed remains constant. It has been explained by astro physics as something to do with a gravitational incline. Looking deeper into this, with the detail and insight of Hasta, might be a worthy study to undertake.
If we are out of sorts physically or psychically, remedies and practices are certainly good to pursue, but a deeper remedy would be to align to the teaching of steady Moon-like rhythm.
The moon absorbs everything, it misses nothing, it takes in and responds to every single detail. To be like the Moon is a profound teaching that slows us down and aligns us to the rhythm of nature. Anything that goes against nature is sickness.
If we are to open to the Initiation of Hasta, we are brought to question the structures and rhythms of ourselves, and the things that we are aligning to.
Hasta Mudra – Hand Gestures
The hand tells us many things. Maybe the hand tells it all. Cross my palm with silver!
By observing the way we use the hands and the considering the underlying energy behind their motions, we get many deep insights into our relationship to the energy of Hasta. The hands can be gracious, generous and open, or conversely they can be knotted, closed and unyielding.
When we hear the word Mudra, we are apt to think of hand gestures. The branch of Mudra that relates to hand gestures is called Hasta Mudra, and involves working with the hands to effect psycho/physical reactions in ourselves.
Sometimes we grip the hands, sometimes we bite the fingernails, or make gestures habitually. By becoming conscious of these sometimes unconscious processes, we can awaken to the unconscious implications behind our doings.
The inner psychic life is reflected in the day to day movements that we make with the hands. The Yogins have found that by consciously observing our hand gestures in each moment, we can gain insight into our soul. By such insights, we may begin to unknot and heal automatic psychic patterns, that are based on response to trauma.
Hand gestures carry immense power. By working with the nerve junctions in the hand, one can awaken many latent areas of the soul. The ruling deity of Hasta Nakshatra – as we have seen – is Savitr. One of his names is Hiranyahasta, which translates as the golden handed one. His touch illuminates. He is the base power behind the revealed part of life. His touch causes Surya to become enlivened with the power to enlighten the day. Working with the hands is a movement towards the base power behind the curtain of the manifest.
The Dark Power Behind the Sun
Savitr is the presiding deity of Hasta Nakshatra. He is described as having beautiful skillful hands that transfer power to the sun at each sunrise. The famous Gayatri Mantra sings his praises. The word Demahi occurs in the Gayatri Mantra and presents a central teaching of Hasta Nakshatra, and is a central principle on the Yogic path. Demahi means to be aware and look deeply at things. Skill comes from the ability to see deeply. To notice details is too care for depth. To care for depth is wisdom. We explored the principle of Demahi, in the second section above entitled Hasta Mudra when we considered observing the underlying energy behind the manifest motion of the hands. Demahi is the focus of looking behind deeper beyond the revealed. Demahi is the penetrative insight that concentrates energy toward looking into the nature of things. Demahi is the honouring of the foundation and base of the manifest. Demahi is to look into the causes and roots of manifest effects and phenomena. Demahi is Savitr.
In the art of awareness, Hasta plays a primary role.
This is the star of revealing. This is the star of vision. This is the star of insight and applied care to the fine details of existence.
The ruling deity Savitr, is the one who enlivens the sun.
Savitr is described often as the sun, and he is, but he is the sun after it sets until sunrise, at dawn Savitr touches Surya and causes him to rise.
Savitr is described as having the golden hand of Hasta, Hiranyahasta. When Savitr touches the sun of the day time who is called Surya, he enlivens him to fulfill his task of revealing and spreading rays of light. Savitr.
Savitr is the birther who gives conscious vision.
In the night, Savitr is with the Moon. The Moon is the ruling planet of Hasta and has an ever changing face. Savitr is devoted to the faces of the Moon, he studies and knows intimately, every single detail of the lunar sway. To fully form a relationship with the energy of Hasta, our vision must be honed to catch the underlying movements and truth’s that surround us. The Moon is a great teacher of rhythm that is ever there to observe and learn from. Savitr is the natural power of awareness that sees and feels all of the Lunar movements. Savitr brings us Demahi.
The Yogins have a detailed system of wisdom that names and honours every face of the Moon. There has endless goddesses and gods that tell the stories of the detailed celestial movements. These celestial movements told in the form of stories and symbols are pointers towards the forms, stories and movements within us.
The celestial outer spheres are directly related to our inner astral body. The Karmas in human astral body are effected and swayed by the astral movements in space.
Yogic ritual is a way to align to these movements. We could say that Yogic ritual involves opening the psychic ear and eye to listen to, and look upon the starry secrets.
And so for the Yogin, the stars and their lessons are not outer abstractions, they are the intimate inner realms of our psyche. Our inner life manifests into our outer life.
What we are seeing and living thorough, is the reflection of an inner psychic configuration, or constellation, if you will.
Corvus, the Crow Constellation
Corvus is the star constellation of Hasta Nakshatra, it is Latin for Crow.
Let us take a little look at the Crow, considering that in Tantric vision, it is the emissary of Saturn. Corvus means crow and is the Greek name given to the 5 starred constellation of Hasta. The crow is also the animal of Hasta Nakshatra in the far older Indian system of Astrology.
The Ancient Greek mythology has some relevant parallels with the the Yogic perspective that are worth considering. It was Apollo who in a fit of rage, threw the crow into the sky. He grasped the crow in his hand and flung him into the starry firmament. The crow was meant to fill a chalice with water for Apollo, but he was delayed because he was tempted by the serpent Hydra to take a break and feast on a fig tree. When Apollo questioned the crow as to why he was so late, the crow did not reveal the reason. Apollo is a sun god who sees past present and future. And feeling deceived by the crow, he flung him along with the Hydra and Chalice into the stars for eternity. We see the the Hydra, Chalice and Corvus in the picture below. Take note of the interesting parallel here, that Savitr the Sun god is the god of Hasta, Apollo is also a sun god.
We once again find the symbol of opposites in relation to constellation that we are considering at present. We see that the Greek Apollo is the twin brother of Artemis. His sister is the famously sworn Virgin of the Greek mysteries. Apollo on the other hand is rather a romancer. His passions and romantic conquests with both genders, more than makes up for his twin sisters chastity. The one twin, being sworn to maidenhood, and the other, opening the doors of excess.
Artemis denied the most prized of lovers, while Apollo would cunningly and obsessively keep watch on his love affairs.
The story tells that the Crow was once white. Apollo’s fiery rage turned its feathers black after he had sent the crow to spy on his latest woo.
When Apollo heard that she was getting up to that which he did not want to hear about, his rage found expression against the crow and burned his formerly white feathers to a crisp.
Later in another fit of rage, Apollo was to fling the crow into the stars as the constellation of Corvus. Which as we have seen, is the Hasta Nakshatra of the Yogins.
The 5 stars of Hasta are related to the five fingers. The constellation also resembles the shape of palm. The Hasta constellation is the constellation of meticulous detail and skill. The hand is the medium through which one touches life. It of course represents the physical hand, symbolically the hand is here taken to mean the inner sense of skill, dexterity and attention to detail.
The Crow is known for its intelligence and wit. Let us next consider this in story form, in the well known old folktale called of the Crow and the Pitcher. It is worth a retelling here, as it beautifully highlights some central themes of Hasta.
The Crow and the Pitcher
Once upon a time,
on a hot summers day, a thirsty crow was scouring the land for a drink of water.
There was a drought and the river had dried up.
His thrust was torturous, but there was no water to be found anywhere.
His beady black eye caught something glimmering in the distance.
He thought that it must be a little pool of water, and so be dove down at the speed of black lightening to reach it.
He discovered that it was a pitcher of water and not a puddle shimmering in the blazing sunlight.
When the Crow peered inside, he saw that it was more than half full with water that glistened freshly.
The problem was that the neck of the pitcher was too thin for his beak to enter in and drink from it.
He tried to push the pitcher over, but it was too heavy for him to move.
He tried to fly at it full speed in the hope to knock it over and thus get the water to pour out.
He even tried to hurl stones at it, in the hope to smash it.
His efforts came to no effect.
Feeling somewhat defeated and deathly thirsty. He sat down quietly, and pondered ways that he could get a drink out of it.
After a moments meditation, the insight came to him. (Demahi in action)
He started gathering little pebbles that would fit through the narrow neck of the pitcher.
Carefully he put them into the pitcher, one by one by one.
It took a long time and was a work of care and patience. A stone that was too big risked getting stuck and blocking the water in pitcher from ever being reached.
After what seemed like an interminable infinity, the water had risen and the crow happily had a drink.
This story highlights the skill and patience of the hand (or in this case the beak), to accomplish a task. The crow is a very intelligent creature that is placed as the animal of Hasta Nakshatra, for its dexterity and skill of mind.
More than this, for the Tantric, the Crow is a creature that can fly between the worlds of darkness and light.
Notice again, how the opposites are at play again in Hasta, this time in the Crow.
Hasta is ruled by the Moon and is presided over by the deity Savitr, the one who hands the initiating spark to the rising sun. We can see a parallel between hasta and the crow in how the both articulate between the realms of the seen and the unseen.
The Unconscious becoming Conscious
When we start to understand the energy of the star constellations, (or better expressed, stand under starlight), we begin to see the themes that the star constellations represent in all areas of our lives.
Every life situation that we might be involved in, can be thought of as a constellation.
Every level of the psyche, every action and situation can be comprehended as a reflection of an astral energy principle.
Everything from a pleasant stroll in the park on a Saturday afternoon, to a family feud on a Sunday, can be seen as an energy constellation.
If we work and apply ourselves to becoming conscious of underlying causes, we can begin to see the star lessons and their astral teachings reflected in all the scenarios of our lives.
We can see the reflection of the star principles everywhere. They are manifest in thoughts, feelings, behaviors, ambience, music, films, stories, clothing and food, to name but a few places where reflections are manifest.
Things that are unconscious become conscious when pondered with a reference point to the stars and their lessons. For example, if we do a job poorly and have carelessly rushed through it, then we have not aligned to the detail of the energy of Hasta.
By recognising that we in an energy configuration contrary to Hasta, can make us conscious of where we are and what we are doing with our energy.
To learn the wonder and beauty of detail, is to resolve something deep in our soul. If details pass us by, we are out of step with the the potency of our awareness.
A life rhythm that misses details is one that is locked in a destruction hyper-rhythm. Hasta is a study of ‘the art of detailed skill and dexterity’ of both spirit and hand.
Hasta Nakshatra Symbols in a story
Let us take a read of a story with reference to the themes of Hasta Nakshatra. We are going to consider a fairy tale written by Hermann Hesse in 1916.
Firstly, let us consider how the story is full of meticulous details, this is rather typical of Hesse’s style, but in this short story the vast explosion of tiny details are potently compressed. Though it is a short story, it could easily become a book.
Detail and skill is primarily the energy of Hasta, as we have seen in the previous text about Hasta Nakshatra. This story is certainly very skillfully put together. The way the narrative of the many stories within the story are bound together with such dexterity, is very much an example of Hasta Nakshatra in action.
Hasta concerns very much how we apply the effort and skill to get the wish of our destiny.
The story below tells of the old bachelor or who grasps poorly to his half coin. He is a perfect example of the destructive side of Hasta Nakshatra, the bachelor has a closed grip that keeps him in a spirit of inner and outer poverty.
The girl with the elegant hands in the story, is the perfect symbol of the potential of Hasta Nakshatra. She is an independent figure who is diametrically opposite to the bachelor. Children love her, and she weaves together stories and magic for them by the power of her beautiful hands.
Hasta means hand and she is indeed imbued with the full power of the hand. Creating fairytales and spreading joy all around, with little regard for riches or relation. She lives in the power of her destiny.
She is a good figure to compare ourselves too and ask of ourselves… what are we creating and spreading all around?
Do we spread the magic and skill of Hasta?
Or are we caught in cycles of drama and stress?
Sometimes we choose the path of stress and loudness, to escape the deeper lessons and learnings. Some details are only received in the quietude where the dust settles.
The story tells of the musician hidden in his attic with his friend. The creative dexterity to wield a musical instrument is an art of Hasta. It is the refinement of the soul and the hand in a unified marriage. The friend of the musician who listens deeply, is in a realm of appreciation art and finery. We could say that he is an introverted Hasta power, his wish is just to receive the music and let it’s beauty, finery and detail imbue his soul. His love of the art of music is so pronounced, that he wishes to just become a mountain and observe everything. These two together hidden away in the attic, oblivious to the happenings in the town, very well represent the active and receptive sides of Hasta Nakshatra.
The stranger in the story who grants the wishes of destiny, can be seen as the amplifier of power of our efforts. Hasta Nakshatra is the hand of destiny. We do things with the psychic and physical hand. Every step is a step towards our destiny. Sometimes the steps go round and round, sometimes the step is a standstill. What we work for doesn’t always manifest directly. Learning a subject takes time. Sometimes we look into the mirror of destiny and see what we are creating with the energy of the spiritual hand.
Where do we put our focus and our work?
More important, how do we put it?
The hand that puts the food into the mouth is far more important than the content of the spoon.
Even great good actions can be an escape from our destiny. Good actions such as helping are good indeed. But sometimes they can be a side step from our destiny. They can be a way that we avoid to face ourselves. In helping others, it is possible that we can deflect the focus from helping ourselves where we most need it. Hasta is the star of noticing the most subtle details and movements of our spiritual and physical hand. Hasta is the vision to see deep beneath our actions, unto the motivating causes. Good actions for example, can be a way we might habitually take to redeem ourselves of the anguish of an energy configuration of guilt. Hasta brings awareness to look at that which we do and why we do it. Some of the things that we continue to repeat can be addictions. Addictions are not always to unhealthy things like sweets. Addictions can also be to noble behaviors and good actions.
If there is a drive in us, then there is a deep place of investigation waiting for us. Hasta is the energy of finding the details of why we do what we do. We might grow up in a culture that presents having a drive and a passion as a good thing. Hasta is the penetrating energy to question this and other such unquestioned details. When we have not opened to the Hasta energy principle of subtle psychic dexterity of vision, then we never pause to question the motivation of our actions.
Our actions reflect back to us and create the results of our lives. It is of note to consider that in the story that follows below, the wish fulfilling stranger stood before a mirror stand.
Everyone’s destiny was being reflected back in their wishes. Some wanted sausages and they got sausages.
As the wish fulfilling stranger comes to town, he sees every small detail. He sees the hedge that the bachelor had been trimming and how it had started with care and ended in a rush. Such an acute vision as the stranger has, is the perfect principle of Hasta awareness.
This Story that now follows, was written by Hermann Hesse in 1916. It encompasses many themes that are pertinent to understanding Hasta Nakshatra.
Rather, it might be better to say, that this story encompasses many themes that are pertinent to standing under the starry shine of Hasta Nakshatra.
With all the insights we gleaned from the text above, we will now look at Hasta Nakshatra through the context of this following story by Hermann Hesse.
⭐️ The Fairytale of Faldum By Herman Hesse
The road leading to the city of Faldum ran right through some hills, and here and there along the way it was lined with woods, large green pastures, and wheat fields. The closer it came to the city, the more it passed barns, dairy farms, gardens, and country houses. The sea was too far away to be seen, and the world seemed to consist of nothing but small hills, pretty valleys, meadows, woods, farmlands, and orchards. It was a country that had plenty of fruit and wood, milk and meat, apples and nuts. The villages were very attractive and clean, and the people were on the whole upright and diligent and did not like to undertake dangerous or disturbing projects. They felt satisfied if they could keep up with their neighbors and if their neighbors kept up with them. That was how life was in Faldum, and most countries in the world are the same, as long as unusual things do not happen.
On this morning, the pretty road that led to Faldum (the surrounding country had the same name) had become extremely lively since the cock first crowed. It bustled with people and wagons and carriages just as it did once each year, for the city held its great fair that day. Indeed, every single farmer and farmer’s wife, every single master, apprentice, and farmhand, every single maiden and lad within twenty miles of the city had been thinking of the great fair for weeks and dreaming of visiting it. Of course, not everyone could go. Someone had to stay behind and look after the animals and small children, the sick and the old, and once lots were drawn, the person who lost had to remain at home and take care of house and farm. For those people, it seemed that almost a year of their lives had been futile, and everything was spoiled for them, including the beautiful sun, which stood warm and jubilant in the blue sky of late summer starting early that morning.
The women and young girls carried small baskets on their arms as they walked, and the young men with clean-shaven cheeks had pink carnations and asters in their lapels. Everyone was clad in neat Sunday clothes, and the schoolgirls had carefully braided their hair, which was still wet and sparkling in the sunshine. Those people riding in carriages wore flowers or had little red ribbons tied to the handle of the whips, and whoever could afford it had decorated the harness of his horses with brightly polished brass disks that hung along the wide decorative leather down to their legs. Rack wagons came by, whose green roofs of beech branches were bent in arches over the seats, and beneath the roofs people sat crowded together with children or baskets on their laps, most of them singing loudly in a chorus. Every now and then a wagon appeared among the others that was especially colorful, decorated with flags and paper flowers, red and blue and white, mixed in with the green leaves of the beech branches. Village music resounded bombastically from this wagon, and through the branches one could see the gold horns and trumpets gleaming softly and exquisitely in the half shadows. Little children who had been obliged to walk since sunrise began to weep from exhaustion and were comforted by their perspiring mothers. Many of them were given lifts by kind and generous drivers. An old woman was pushing twins in a carriage, both asleep, and between the sleeping children’s heads lay two dolls, beautifully dressed and combed with cheeks just as round and red as those of the babies.
Those people who lived along the way but were not going to the fair this day had an entertaining morning because there was so much to see. Yet only a very few did stay at home. A ten-year-old boy sitting on the garden stairs wept because he had to remain with his grandmother. But after he sat and cried for what he thought was a sufficient amount of time, he leaped onto the road and joined some village boys as they came marching by.
Not far from there lived an old bachelor who wanted nothing to do with the fair because he did not like to spend his money. He intended to spend the day trimming the high hawthorn hedge around his garden while everyone was away celebrating, for it needed cutting. As soon as the morning dew began to evaporate, he went cheerfully about his work with his big hedge shears. But after working just about an hour, he stopped and retreated angrily into his house, for each and every boy who had come by, either on foot or on horseback, had gazed in astonishment at the man cutting the hedge and made some sort of joke about his untimely zeal, while the girls had joined in with laughter. When the old man threatened them with his long shears, they had all swung their hats, waved, and mocked him. Now he sat inside behind locked shutters; yet he peered through the cracks with envy, and when his anger gradually subsided and he saw the last few people dashing to the fair as though their lives depended on it, he put on his boots, stuck a taler into his pouch, took a cane, and got set to go. Suddenly it occurred to him that a taler was indeed a lot of money. So he pulled it out of the leather pouch, replaced it with half a taler, and tied the pouch with a string. Then he put it into his pocket, locked the house and garden gate, and ran so fast that he passed many pedestrians and even two wagons on his way to the city.
Once he was gone and his house and garden stood empty, the dust settled gently on the road. The sounds of trotting horses and brass bands floated and faded away. The sparrows began to come out of the fields of stubble. Bathed in the white dust, they inspected what was left over from the tumult. The road was empty and dead and hot. From the remote distance shouts of joy and sounds of music still drifted from time to time, faint and lost.
Just then a man emerged from the forest. The broad brim of his hat sloped over his eyes, and he meandered casually all by himself along the deserted country road. He was a large man and had the firm, calm stride of a wanderer who has traveled a great deal on foot. His clothes were plain and gray, and his eyes peered out from the shadow of his hat, carefully and serenely leaving the impression of a man who desires nothing from the world but observes everything with great attention. Indeed, nothing escaped his view. He saw the countless tangled wagon tracks running ahead of him. He saw the hoof marks of a horse that limped on its left hind foot. He saw the tiny glimmering roofs of Faldum rise on the hill in the distance. He saw a little woman, anxious and desperate, wandering about a garden as if lost and calling for someone who did not answer. He saw a small piece of metal flash on the edge of the road, and he bent over and picked up a bright round brass disk that a horse had lost from its collar. He put it into his pocket. And then he saw an old hawthorn hedge that had just been partially trimmed. The first part of the work was precise and clean and seemed to have been done with pleasure. Yet as he went along the hedge, he saw that less and less care had been taken, so that there were deep cuts, and neglected branches stuck out with sharp bristles and thorns.
Farther on the stranger found a child’s doll lying on the road. A wagon wheel must have run over its head. He saw a piece of rye bread still gleaming with melted butter. Finally, he found a sturdy leather pouch with a half taler inside it. He leaned the doll against a curbstone at the edge of the road, crumbled the bread and fed the pieces to the sparrows, and stuck the pouch with the half taler into his pocket.
It was incredibly silent on the abandoned road. The turf on both sides was thick with dust and parched by the sun. Chickens ran around a nearby farmyard, and nobody could be seen far and wide as the chickens clucked and stuttered dreamily in the warm sun. But then he saw an old woman leaning over a bluish cabbage patch and pulling weeds from the dry ground. The wanderer called out and asked her how far it was to the city. She was deaf, however, and when he called again louder, she only looked at him helplessly and shook her gray head.
As the stranger walked on, he heard the sounds of music rise and fall from the city. They became more frequent and longer the closer he came to the city, until they flowed continually like a distant waterfall, music and the murmur of voices, as if all the people had gathered together and were enjoying themselves there. Now a stream flowed next to the road, wide and quiet. There were ducks on it, and brown-green water weeds beneath the blue surface. When the road began to climb, the stream curved to the side, and a stone bridge traversed it. A thin man, who looked like a tailor, was asleep atop the low wall of the bridge, with his head slumped over. His hat had fallen down into the dust, and sitting next to him, a small cute dog kept guard over him. The stranger wanted to wake the tailor because he could easily fall over the wall of the bridge while sleeping. However, once he looked over the wall, the stranger realized that it was not very high, and the water was shallow. So he let the tailor continue sleeping.
After walking up a steep footpath, the stranger came at last to the city gate of Faldum. It was wide open, and not a person was to be seen. The man strode through the gate, and suddenly his footsteps echoed loudly on a paved street, where a row of empty, unharnessed wagons and carriages were stationed alongside the houses. Some signs of life and noise sounded from other streets, but not a single soul could be found here. The little street was filled with shadows, and only the upper windows of the houses reflected the golden day. The wanderer rested here for a short time, sitting on the shaft of a rack wagon. Before he set off again, he placed the brass disk of the harness that he had found alongside the road on the driver’s seat.
He had walked no farther than a block before he was engulfed by the noise and tumult of the fair. There were a hundred booths, and dealers were shouting loudly and trying to sell their goods. Children blew silver-tinseled horns. Butchers fished strings of wet sausages from large boiling kettles. A medicine man posing as a doctor stood high on a platform and peered eagerly through his thick horn-rimmed glasses. He had set up a chart that pictured all sorts of human diseases and maladies. A man with long black hair passed by his booth leading a camel by a rope. With its long neck, the camel looked arrogantly down at the crowd of people, moved its split lips back and forth, and made signs of chewing.
The man from the woods scanned everything with great interest. He let himself be pushed and shoved by the crowd. He glanced into the booth of a man who sold colored prints. At another booth he read the sayings and mottos on sugar-coated gingerbread cookies. He did not stay at any one place very long, however, and seemed to be looking for something that he had not yet found. So he moved forward slowly until he came to the large central square where a bird dealer was setting up a cage on the corner. There he listened for a while to the voices that came from the many small cages, and he answered them by whistling softly to the linnet, the quail, the canary, and the warbler.
Suddenly he was attracted by something nearby, something bright and dazzling, as if all the sunshine were concentrated on this one spot, and when he headed in that direction, he came upon a mirror hanging in a booth. Next to it were other mirrors, hundreds of them, big and small, square, round, and oval, mirrors to be hung on walls and to stand up. There were also hand mirrors and small, thin pocket mirrors that you could take anywhere, so that you would not forget your own face. The dealer stood there, caught the sun in a bright mirror, then let the sparkling reflection dance over his booth. Meanwhile, he shouted incessantly, “Mirrors, ladies and gentlemen, buy your mirrors here! The best mirrors! The cheapest mirrors in Faldum! Mirrors, ladies, splendid mirrors! Just take a look. Everything’s genuine. The very best crystal!”
The stranger stopped at the booth of mirrors and appeared to find what he was looking for. Among the people examining the mirrors were three young girls from the countryside. He moved to a spot close by and watched them. They were lively and robust peasant girls, neither beautiful nor ugly, wearing thick-soled shoes and white stockings. Their blond braids had been somewhat bleached by the sun, and they had bright young eyes. Each girl had taken an inexpensive mirror in her hand, and as all three hesitated and deliberated whether they should buy, while also enjoying the sweet torment of choosing, each looked forlornly and dreamily into the translucent depths of the mirror and regarded her reflection, her mouth and eyes, the small jewel of her necklace, the freckles around her nose, the smooth part in her hair, and the rosy ear. Then they became silent and serious. The stranger, who stood right behind the girls, saw their large, almost jubilant eyes and reflections gazing at him from the mirrors.
“Oh,” he heard the first girl say, “I wish I had long hair, shiny red hair, that hung down to my knees!”
Upon hearing her friends wish, the second girl sighed softly and looked deep into her mirror. Then she, too, divulged her heart’s dream with a blush and said shyly, “If I could wish, I’d like to have the most beautiful hands, totally white and delicate, with long slender fingers and rosy fingernails.” As she said this, she looked at her hand holding the oval mirror. The hand was not ugly, but the fingers were a bit short and thick and had become coarse and hardened from work.
The third girl, the smallest and most vivacious of the three, laughed at all this and cried merrily, “That’s not a bad wish! But you know, hands aren’t all that important. What I’d prefer most of all would be to become the best and most nimble dancer in the whole country of Faldum from this moment on.”
All of a sudden the girl jumped in fright and turned around. A strange face with black glaring eyes had been looking out at her in the mirror from behind her own face. It was the face of the stranger, who had stepped behind her, and until then the three girls had not noticed him. Now they stared into his face with amazement, while he nodded to them and said, “You’ve made three beautiful wishes, my girls. Do you really mean what you’ve said?”
The small girl put down the mirror and hid her hands behind her back. She wanted to pay the man back for frightening her and was thinking of a sharp word or two to say to him. But when she looked into his face, she saw so much power in his eyes that she became timid.
“Does it matter to you what I wish?” she said simply, and turned red.
But the other girl, who had wished for the elegant hands, felt that she could trust him. There was something fatherly and distinguished about him.
“Yes,” she said. “We are serious about what we said. Can one wish for anything more beautiful?”
The mirror dealer had joined them, and now other people, too, were listening. The stranger had turned up the brim of his hat so that everyone could see his smooth, high forehead and imperious eyes. Now he nodded to the three girls in a friendly way, smiled, and announced, “Look, you already have what you wished for!”
The girls gazed at one another and then looked into their mirrors. Suddenly all three of them turned pale out of astonishment and joy. The first girl’s hair had turned into thick golden-red locks that hung down to her knees. The second was holding her mirror in the slenderest and whitest hands, just like those of a princess, and the third was suddenly wearing red leather dancing shoes, standing with ankles as slim as those of a deer. None of the girls could grasp what had happened, but the girl with the elegant hands burst into tears of joy. She leaned on her friend’s shoulder and wept blissfully into her long golden-red hair.
Now the story of the miracle spread by word of mouth and through loud cries all around the booth. A young journeyman who had watched everything stood and stared at the stranger with wide-open eyes, as though he were paralyzed.
“Would you like to wish for something?” the stranger asked him all at once.
The journeyman was frightened and completely confused. He looked around helplessly to spot something to wish for. Then he saw an enormous string of thick red sausages hanging in front of the pork butcher’s stand, and he stammered as he pointed to it.
“I’d like to have a string of sausages like that.”
No sooner did he say this than a wreath of sausages hung around his neck, and everyone present began to laugh and shout. People tried to move closer, and everyone wanted to make a wish. And they were all allowed to do so. The very next man was bolder and wished for new Sunday clothes from top to bottom. All at once he was wearing a fine, brand-new suit more elegant than that of the mayor. Then a country woman came up and, after summoning her courage, demanded ten talers on the spot. Immediately the talers were jingling in her pocket.
Now the people saw that real miracles were actually happening, and the news spread like wildfire throughout the marketplace and the city. People gathered rapidly in large crowds all around the booth of the mirror dealer. Many laughed and joked; others did not believe a thing and voiced their doubts. But many had already been infected by the wish-fever and came running with glowing eyes and hot faces distorted by greed and need, for they all feared that the source of the wishes might dry up before they could dip into it. Little boys wished for cookies, crossbows, bags of nuts, books, and bowling games. Little girls went away happy with new clothes, ribbons, gloves, and umbrellas. A little ten-year-old boy, who had run away from his grandmother and was excited by all the glories and splendor of the fair, wished in a clear voice for a live pony, but it had to be black. All at once a black colt neighed behind him and rubbed its head warmly on his shoulder.
An old bachelor with a walking stick in his hand forced his way through the crowd, which was totally intoxicated by the magic, and stepped forward trembling. He could barely speak a word because he was so excited.
“I wish,” he said, stuttering, “I wi-wi-wish two hundred times—”
The stranger looked at him closely, then pulled a leather pouch out of his pocket and held it before the eyes of the excited little man.
“Wait a second!” said the stranger. “Didn’t you lose this money pouch? There’s half a taler inside.”
“Yes, I did!” exclaimed the bachelor. “It’s mine.”
“Do you wish to have it back?”
“Yes, give it to me.”
So he recovered his pouch, but at the same time he wasted his wish, and when he realized this, full of anger he lifted his cane against the stranger and tried to hit him, but he missed and smashed a mirror. The pieces of glass were still clinking as the dealer came over and demanded money, and the bachelor had to pay.
Now a stout house-owner approached and made a splendid wish. To be precise, he wished for a new roof for his house, and within seconds it glistened from his street with brand-new tiles and a chimney as white as chalk. Then everyone was stirred up once more and began to wish for bigger and better things. Soon one man was not embarrassed to wish for a new four-story house on the marketplace, and a quarter of an hour later he was leaning over his own windowsill and observing the fair from there.
Actually there was no longer a fair since everyone and everything in the city was flowing like a river from a source — the spot by the booth of mirrors, where the stranger stood and allowed each person to make a wish. Cries of astonishment, envy, or laughter followed each wish, and when a hungry little boy wished for nothing more than a hatful of plums, his hat was refilled with taler coins by one of the people whose wish had been less modest. The fat wife of a grocer received great applause and cheers when she wished away a heavy goiter. But then the people were given an example of what anger and resentment can do. Her own husband, who was unhappily married to her and had just had a bad argument with her, used his wish, which could have made him rich, to restore the goiter to the same place where it had been before. Nevertheless, the better precedent had already been set, and a group of feeble and sick people were brought to the booth. The crowd became delirious again when the lame people began to dance and the blind greeted the light with blessed new eyes.
In the meantime the young people had already run all over the city announcing the miraculous events. They told everyone, including a loyal old cook who was standing at the hearth and roasting a goose for the family in the house where she worked. When she heard the news about the wishes through the window, she, too, could not resist running to the marketplace to wish herself rich and happy for the rest of her life. Yet the more she pushed her way through the crowd, the more perceptibly her conscience began to bother her, and when it was her turn to wish, she gave up everything and desired only that the goose not burn before she was back home tending it.
The tumult did not end. Nursemaids rushed out of houses dragging children by their arms. Excited invalids jumped out of their beds and ran out onto the streets in their nightgowns. A little woman, very confused and desperate, arrived from the countryside, and when she heard about the wishes, she sobbed and begged that she might find her lost grandson safe and sound. Within seconds, the boy came riding up on a small black pony and fell laughing into her arms.
In the end, the entire city gathered and became ecstatic. Couples in love whose wishes had been fulfilled wandered arm in arm. Poor families drove around in carriages, still wearing their old patched clothes from that morning. Many people who regretted making a foolish wish either departed sadly or were drinking themselves into forgetfulness at the old fountain in the marketplace that a jokester had filled with the very best wine through his wish.
Eventually there were only two people in the entire city of Faldum who did not know anything about the miracle and had not made wishes for themselves. They were two young men, and they were up high in the attic of an old house at the edge of the city, behind closed windows. One of them stood in the middle of the room, held a violin under his chin, and played with all his soul and passion. The other sat in a corner, held his head between his hands, and was completely absorbed in listening. The sun shone obliquely through the small windowpanes and cast a bright hue, illuminating a bouquet of flowers standing on the table, and its rays played on the torn wallpaper. The room was completely filled with warm light and the glowing tones of the violin, like a small secret treasure chamber glistening with the luster of precious stones. The violinist had closed his eyes and now swayed back and forth as he played. The listener stared quietly at the floor and was lost in the music as if there were no life in him.
Then loud footsteps pounded outside on the street. The door of the house burst open, and the steps came rumbling up the stairs all the way to the attic room. It was the landlord, and he ripped the door open and barged into the room with yells and laughter. The violin music broke off at once, and the silent listener leaped into the air, distraught. The violinist was angry at being interrupted, and he glared reproachfully at the landlord’s laughing face. But the man paid no attention to this. Instead, he waved his arms like a drunkard and screamed, “You fools! You sit here and play the violin, and outside the entire world is being changed. Wake up and run so that you won’t be too late! There’s a man at the marketplace granting wishes to everyone and making them come true. If you hurry, you won’t have to live in this tiny attic anymore and owe me the measly rent. Get up and go before it’s too late! Even I’ve become a rich man today!”
The violinist listened with astonishment, and since the man would not leave him in peace, he set the violin down and put his hat on his head. His friend followed without saying a word. No sooner did they leave the house than they saw that half the city had already changed in the most remarkable way, and they walked past the houses somewhat uneasily, as if in a dream. Yesterday these houses had been gray and crooked, humble dwellings. Now, however, they stood tall and elegant like palaces. People whom they had known as beggars were driving around in four-horse carriages, or they were now proud and affluent and looking out of the windows of their beautiful houses. A haggard-looking man who resembled a tailor, followed by a tiny dog, plodded along, tired and sweaty, dragging a large heavy sack, and gold coins trickled through a small hole onto the pavement.
Almost automatically, the two young men arrived at the marketplace and found themselves before the booth with mirrors. The stranger standing there said to them, “You’re not in much of a hurry to make your wishes. I was just about to leave. Well, tell me what you want, and feel free to make any wish you desire.”
The violinist shook his head and said, “Oh, if only you had left me in peace! I don’t need anything.”
“Are you sure? Think about it!” cried the stranger, “You may wish for anything that comes to your mind. Anything.”
Then the violinist closed his eyes and contemplated for a while. Finally he spoke in a soft voice and said, “I wish I could have a violin and play it in such a wonderful way that nothing in the whole world would be able to disturb me with its noise anymore.”
Within seconds he held a beautiful violin and bow in his hands. He tucked the violin beneath his chin and began to play. The music sounded sweet and rhapsodic like the song of paradise. Whoever heard it stopped still and listened with somber eyes. As the violinist played more and more intensely and magnificently, however, he was lifted up by invisible forces and disappeared into thin air. His music continued to resound from a distance with a soft radiance like the red glow of the sunset.
“And you? What do you wish?” the man asked the other young man.
“You’ve taken the violinist away from me!” complained the young man. “Now the only thing I want from life is to be able to listen and observe, and I want only to think about things immortal. So I wish I were a mountain as large as the country of Faldum, so tall that my peak would tower above the clouds.”
All at once there was a rumbling beneath the earth, and everything began to sway. The glass clattered and broke. The mirrors fell one by one in splinters onto the pavement. The marketplace rose up as a sheet rises when a cat that has fallen asleep underneath awakes and arches its back up high. The people were overwhelmed by terror. Thousands screamed and began fleeing the city into the fields. Those who remained at the marketplace watched a mighty mountain climb behind the city into the evening clouds. Beneath it they saw the quiet stream transformed into a white and wild mountain torrent that rushed from the top of the mountain with many falls and rapids down into the valley below.
Only a moment had passed, and yet the entire countryside of Faldum had turned into a gigantic mountain. At its foot was the city, and far away in the distance the ocean could be seen. Nobody had even been harmed in the process.
An old man who had been standing beside the booth of mirrors and had witnessed everything said to his neighbor, “The world’s gone mad. I’m happy that I don’t have much longer to live. I’m only sorry about the violinist. I’d like to hear him just one more time.”
“Yes, indeed,” said the other. “But tell me, where’s the stranger gone to?”
They looked around, but he had vanished. When they gazed up at the new mountain, however, they saw the stranger up high, walking away with his cape fluttering in the wind. He stood for a moment, a gigantic figure against the evening sky, then disappeared around the corner of a cliff.
Everything passes away in time, and everything new grows old. The annual fair had long ago become history, and many people who wished themselves rich on that occasion had become poor again. The girl with the long golden-red hair had married and had children, who also went to the fair in the city in the late summer of each year. The girl with the nimble dancing feet had become the wife of a guild master in the city, and she could still dance splendidly, much better than many young people. Though her husband had wished for a lot of money, it seemed as though the merry couple would run through all of it before the end of their lives. However, the third girl with the beautiful hands still thought about the stranger at the mirror booth more than anyone else. Though this girl had never married and had not become rich, she still had her delicate hands, and because of her hands she had stopped doing farm work and instead looked after the children in her village wherever she was needed and told them fairy tales and stories. Indeed, it was from her that all the children learned about the miraculous fair, and how the poor had become rich and how the country of Faldum had become a mountain. Whenever she told this story, she would look at her slender princess hands, smile, and become so moved and full of love that one was apt to believe that nobody had received a better fortune at the booth of mirrors than she had, even though she was poor and without a husband and had to tell beautiful stories to children who were not her own.
Everyone who had been young at that time was now old, and those who had been old were now dead. Only the mountain stood unchanged and ageless, and when the snow on his peak glistened, he seemed to smile and be happy that he was no longer a human being and no longer had to calculate according to standards of human time. The cliffs of the mountain beamed high above the city and the countryside. His tremendous shadow wandered every day over the land. His streams and rivers announced in advance the change of the seasons. The mountain had become the protector and father of all. He generated forests and meadows with waving grass and flowers. He produced springs, snow, ice, and stones. Colorful grass grew on the stones, and forget-me-nots alongside the streams. Deep down in the mountain were caves where water dripped like silver threads year after year from stone to stone in eternal rhythm, and in his chasms were secret chambers where crystals grew with a thousand-year patience. Nobody had ever reached the peak of the mountain. But many people claimed to know that there was a small round lake way up on the top, and that nothing but the sun, moon, clouds, and stars had ever been reflected in it. Neither human nor animal had ever looked into this basin of water that the mountain held up toward the heavens, for not even the eagles could fly that high.
The people of Faldum lived on cheerfully in the city and in the numerous valleys. They baptized their children. They were active in trading and in the crafts. They carried one another to their graves. Their knowledge of and dreams about the mountain were passed on from grandparents to grandchildren and lived on. Shepherds and chamois hunters, naturalists and botanists, cowherds and travelers increased the treasured lore of the mountain, and ballad singers and storytellers passed it on. They knew all about the endless dark caves, about waterfalls without light in hidden chasms, about glaciers that split the land in two. They became familiar with the paths of the avalanches, and the unpredictable shifts in the weather, and what the country might expect in the way of heat and frost, water and growth, weather and wind — all this came from the mountain.
Nobody knew anything more about the earlier times. Of course, there was the beautiful legend about the miraculous annual fair, at which every single soul in Faldum had been allowed to wish for whatever he or she wanted. But nobody wanted to believe anymore that the mountain himself had arisen on that day. They were certain that the mountain had stood in his place from the very beginning of time and would continue to stand there for all eternity. The mountain was home. The mountain was Faldum. More than anything the people loved to hear the stories about the three girls and about the violinist. Sometimes a young boy would abandon himself while playing the violin behind a closed door and dream of disappearing in beautiful music like the violinist who had drifted into the sky.
The mountain lived on silently in his greatness. Every day he watched the sun, far away and red, climb from the ocean and circle around his peak from east to west, and every night he watched the stars take the same silent path. Each winter the mountain would be wrapped in a coat of snow and ice, and each year the avalanches would rumble at a given time down his sides, and at the edge of the remains of the snow, the bright-eyed summer flowers, blue and yellow, laughed in the sun, and the streams swelled and bounced, and the lakes sparkled with more blue and more warmth in the sunlight. Lost water thundered faintly in invisible chasms, and the small round lake high upon the peak lay covered with heavy ice and waited the entire year to open its bright eyes during the brief period of high summer when for a few days it could reflect the sun and for a few nights the stars. The water in the dark caves caused the stones to chime in eternal dripping, and in secret gorges the thousand-year crystals grew steadfastly toward perfection.
At the foot of the mountain, a little higher than the city, there was a valley through which a wide brook with a smooth surface flowed between alders and meadows. The young people who were in love went there and learned about the wonders of the seasons from the mountain and trees. In another valley the men held their training exercises with horses and weapons, and each year during the eve of solstice, an enormous fire burned on one of the high steep knolls.
Time flew by, and the mountain protected the valley of love and the training ground. He provided space to the cowherds, woodcutters, hunters, and craftsmen. He gave stones for building and iron for smelting. He watched calmly and let the summer fire blaze on the knoll and watched the fire return a hundred times and another hundred times. He saw the city below reach out with small stumpy arms and grow beyond its old walls. He saw hunters discard their crossbows and turn to firearms to shoot. The centuries passed like the seasons of the year and the years like hours.
He did not care that one time over the years the solstitial fire had stopped burning on the rocky plateau and from then on remained forgotten. He was not troubled when, after many years passed, the training grounds became deserted, and plantain and thistle ran all over the fields. And as the centuries marched on, he did not prevent a landslide from altering his shape and causing half the city of Faldum to lie in ruins under the rocks that rolled down upon it. Indeed, he rarely glanced down and thus did not even notice that the city remained in ruins and was not rebuilt.
He did not care about any of this. But something else began to be of concern. The times raced by, and behold — the mountain grew old. When he saw the sun rise and wander and depart, he was not the same way he had once been, and when he saw the stars reflected in pale glaciers, he no longer felt himself their equal. The sun and stars were now no longer particularly important to him. What was important now was what was happening to himself and within himself, for he felt a strange hand working deep beneath his rocks and caves. He felt the hard primitive stone becoming brittle and crumbling away into layers of slate, the brooks and waterfalls causing corrosion inside. The glaciers had disappeared and lakes had grown. Forests were transformed into fields of stone, and meadows into black moors. The hollow patches of his moraines and gravel spread endlessly into the country with forked tongues, and the landscape below had become strangely different, strangely rocky, strangely scorched and quiet. The mountain withdrew more and more into himself. He felt certain that he was no longer the equal of the sun and stars. His equals were the wind and snow, the water and ice. His equals were the things that seemed to shine eternally and yet also disappeared slowly, the things that perished slowly.
He began to guide his streams down the valley more fervently, rolled his avalanches more carefully, and offered his meadows of flowers to the sun more tenderly. And it happened that in his old age he also began remembering about human beings again. Not that he now regarded people as his equal, but he began to look about for them. He began to feel abandoned. He began to think about the past. But the city was no longer there, and there was no song in the valley of love, and no more huts on the meadows. There were no more people there. Even they were gone. It had become silent. Everything had turned languid. A shadow hung in the air.
The mountain quivered when he felt all of that which had perished. And as he quivered, his peak sank to a side and collapsed. Pieces of rock rolled down into the valley of love, long since filled with stones, and down into the sea.
Yes, the times had changed. But what was it that caused him to remember and think about people so constantly now? Hadn’t it once been wonderful when they burned the solstitial fire on the knoll and when young couples walked in the valley of love? Oh, and how sweet and warm their songs had often sounded!
The gray mountain became entirely steeped in memory. He barely felt the centuries flowing by. Nor did he pay much attention to how his caves were softly rumbling and collapsing here and there, or to how he shifted himself. When he thought about the people, he felt the pain of a faint echo from past ages of the world. It was as if something had moved and love had not been understood, a dark, floating dream, as if he had also once been human or similar to a human, had sung and had listened to singing, as if the thought of mortality had once ignited his heart when he was very young.
Epochs rushed by. The dying mountain clung to his dreams as he sank and was surrounded by a crude wasteland of stone. How had everything been at one time? Wasn’t there still a sound, a delicate silver thread that linked him to a bygone world? He burrowed with great effort into the night of moldy memories, groped relentlessly for the torn threads, bent constantly far over the abyss of the past.
Hadn’t he had a community, a love that glowed for him at one time? Hadn’t a mother sung to him at one time at the beginning of the world?
He thought and thought, and his eyes, the blue lakes, became murky and heavy and turned into moors and swamps, while stone boulders rippled over the grassy strips of land and small patches of flowers. He continued to think, and he heard chimes from an invisible distance, felt notes of music floating, a song, a human song, and he began trembling in the painful pleasure of recognition. He heard the music, and he saw a man, a youth, completely wrapped in music, swaying through the air in the sunny sky, and a hundred buried memories were stirred and began to quiver and roll. He saw the face of a human with dark eyes, and the eyes asked him with a twinkle,
“Don’t you want to make a wish?”
And he made a wish, a silent wish, and as he did so, he was released from the torment of having to think about all those remote and forgotten things, and everything that had been hurting him ceased. The mountain and the country collapsed together, and where Faldum had once stood, the endless sea now surged and roared far and wide, and the sun and stars took turns appearing high above it all.
If you would like to join one of the rituals of the Moons of Saturn Series we will run throughout the month of July
Purnavasu is the star of infinitely repeating cyclical patterns. Purna means to repeat and Vasu means to to shine and reveal. And so, this star is the revealer of cycles and patterns.
The teaching of Purnavasu comes by showing and revealing to us, the patterns that we live within and are repeating. Repeating actions breed repeating results and weave the matrices of reality. We don’t always see the reoccurring patterns that we repeat and follow, when we ourselves live in the midst of them. The work with Purnavasu Nakshatra is concerned with getting insight into the roots that underlie the repetitious formations of our soul. Inner creates the outer and vise versa.
When we become aware of the repetitious installations in the cyclic geometry of our soul, then the very nature of our personal reality is brought into question. Revealing of the repetitious cycles is the first step towards liberating ourselves from them. The cycles that we repeat, begin as a psychic imprint, that in turn become a pattern in our soul. This can further manifest itself into our feelings and then find expression in our behavior, which in turn shapes and forms reality for us. The origins of our cyclical patterns is a deep inner study. Some of them may be picked up through ancestral codes of conduct that we have inherited through the energetic line of our heritage. We may also unquestioningly inherit and move within cultural and societal codes and patterns. Consider if you will… if we were transplanted to a culture with a code and pattern different to what we know, we would most probably question it. Say for example, that we were transplanted to a past era with another pattern and structure altogether. We might, and most probably would – from our present vantage point – call some of the patterns, mysoginist, oppressive, racistic, fascistic and brutally warped. We would not even need to go back in time to step into places where such patterns are repeating themselves. The modern age offers an ample variety of places with patterns that move within the above aforementioned ‘isms’.
Cyclical Twin Energies
Purnavasu Nakshatra’s 4 Padas, (steps) span from the constellation of Gemini into the first degrees of Cancer. The stars of Purnavasu are known as Castor and Pollux who are the celestial twins of Greek mythology. These two twins are worth mention here, as they present some pertinent themes of Purnavasu.
Castor and Pollux are the children of Leda. The famous story of Leda and the swan is rather well known in many circles, from ballet to feminism to renaissance art. The Greek mysteries tell us that Castor was the mortal twin and Pollux was the immortal twin. Zeus disguised himself as a swan and mated with Leda, who in turn layed eggs from which the twins were born. The immortal Pollux was born of Zeus and the mortal Castor was conceived through the mortal union of Leda and her human husband.
And so the mortal twin Castor remained on earth, while Pollux lived with the immortals on mount olympus. Esoterically, Pollux represents the etheric plane while Castor represents the echo upon the earth plane. We will cover this principle of echoes and exchange further and deeper in the section below, where we will consider the symbol of Purnavasu, which is the ever returning arrow. When Castor died, he was reunited with his twin brother in the stars. A peculiar deal was struck with Zeus, that they could cyclicly exchange places between the earth and the etheric plane.
And so, in an eternal cyclical rhythm, the twins would alternate between the ethers and the earth. Each time one brother would die, they would be together for a period and shine bright together, before the other would move to the earth plane, and the ever repeating cycle of exchange would go on. The whole theme of Purnavasu is the ever repeating cycle. The word Purnavasu could be well translated as re-manifesting, and understood through the story of these twins. In the following sections, we will look further and deeper into rhythm and cycles.
Dancing through Cycles of Karma
Patterns and geometry of soul may be invisible to those who live in the midst of them. Our ancestry, education, culture, religion, generation and gender, to mention a few things, are all areas that are imbued with patterns and geometric structures, that if not unmasked, become a repeating cycle that crushes liberty and creativity of spirit.
The Tantric could be called an inter-dimensional voyager, who relinquishes the soul from the imposing reflections put upon it by the kaleidoscopic masks that cover the face of the Goddess. Shakti is power, she is the Goddess who gives birth to endless coverings. Her coverings can become patterns and confining codes of conduct. The Yogin aligns to the naked Mudra that strips themselves of the patterned confining coat of conduct. The patterns and codes that shape our experience of reality are made up of psychic energy. Psychic energy might sound like a flimsy esoteric term of sky walking, but it is the causal root of reality and action. Psychic energy patterns become convictions. Some of those convictions have spurred genocides and atrocities, upon not only human life. Psychic energy patterns then, are nothing flimsy at all, almost invisibly, they verily define personal and collective reality. The Yogin takes nothing for granted and explores the most established and accepted codes and patterns of so-called normalcy.
We become part of the structures that we create. Being liberated from them does not mean that we can’t, or don’t, have the option to function in them. Not living with structures is not the same as rejecting them because we are incapable of living with them. But rather, being liberated from structures means, that we are not constrained by them. Not being constrained by them, would actually give us the autonomy to move in and out of them. Not being ruled and constrained by psychic structures does not mean that one denies and rejects them, this is indeed a point to ponder. The yogin is a magician who learns to work with psychic structures. The Yogin trains themselves to be able to put the mask of structure on to suit the situation if needed. A mask here, can be thought of as a psychic energy formation. The Yogin tries to be careful not to be defined by the mask of structure that (s)he wears. Masks come in many shapes and sizes, some good, some bad and some ugly or beautiful. For the Yogic voyager, each conviction and station of being is but a mask upon the naked truth. When we wear a mask and can no longer remove it, then we have lost the naked truth and come into the world of masks and identifies. Tantic practice is an investigation of the masks that eclipse the naked truth. All masks fall in time. A mask can wear us if we are not vigilant. We may be busy shaping the mask in the hope to wear it eternally? Such things are part of the Tantric investigation.
The Ever Returning Arrow
The symbol of Purnavasu is the ever returning arrow, returned cyclicly and eternaly to the quiver. This is the arrow of Raam, who is the great solar warrior and weilder of the bow and arrow. Raam is considered the greatest of all masters of the bow and arrow. His arrow represents the quality of absolute focus. Raam is the ultimate warrior of mystic and legendary status, his birth star, in point of fact, is Purnavasu. Every arrow that Raam shot is returned to the quiver, in the eternal cycle of the laws of exchange.
What is sent out, returns back to us. What we give comes back. An example of a pendulum obeys this law perfectly. The swing in one direction, is mirrored in the other. If we send out the energies of precise focus and intention, they are returned to us. Contrarily, if our energies are muddled, a muddled energy returns. The law of echo and reflection is intensified on a Purnavasu Moon. The stars give us an opportunity here to work with our deepest intention. Perhaps the one that has been wished for and forgotten, or perhaps the failed one that we gave up on, and therefore never reached fruition.
An intention of what we truly need, is brought to us by Purnavasu Nakshatra, results come under rituals of this Moon, if our focus is honed and applied. Ritual is an act of applied focus. On this ritual night, we shall be working with intention amongst other things. Making an intention on a Purnavasu Dark Moon night is like planting a seed. A seed needs care and focused awareness to plant and bring to fruition.
The subtle energy patterns in our soul, that echo and reflect back to us cyclically and repeat themselves, can effect us personally in a variety of ways. They may keep us in unhealthy patterns. When we find ourselves living over, and repeating a well known pattern, it may be of liberating benefit to us, to investigate and look into its foundations. Cyclic patterns in our soul might run like clockwork, they might repeat themselves with regularity when particular phenomena come before us and entice a predictable effect from us. For example, we might have a ‘psychic-sore-spot’ that if touched in a certain way, is certain to react in a predictable fashion. We might come to know our reactions very well and even come to fabricate our lives so as to remove them where possible. It is of course an option to step out and away from things that cause us to react like clockwork. But there is also another option of facing the things that cause us to react with an autonomy that is not based upon the predictable pattern of repeating cycles.
When we cut something away too much, we might end up cutting part of ourselves away and reducing the motion of our spirit. The path of the victim is chosen in fear and helplessness. A victim does not only imply a downtrodden impotent state of being. A victim might be a leader of their lives who has steered events to such an extent that their position of avoidance of their triggers, almost promises them never to be touched. And when the trigger should appear, one would take to the strategy of avoidance and therefore turn away from their own power that comes to them in a guise they would rather not see. This we could say is the masquerading victim. They might be at the top of their game, whatever it is, but they have no freedom of motion, for when the revealer of their pattern shows up, the clockwork predictability of their inner pattern of psychic cyclical repetition is revealed and causes them to act with avoidance strategy. This we could call the spiritual aristocrat, it’s quite an apt description of one who protects their assets but never opens the accounts of their soul to discover a reality beyond the spiritually provincial constrains that they have invested in.
Our psychic patters my range from anything between highly destructive and self sabotaging, to functionally routine and manageable. What lays beneath and beyond the cycles of Karma is the voyage that the Tantric takes. The Tantric takes a step through the matrices of personal and collective reality, as they dance through the cycles of Karma. When the unconscious dance becomes conscious then infinity reveals itself.
The Naked Truth
The cyclic nature of patterns is the insight that the Nakshatra Purnavasu brings to us. If we have the liberty to select rhythms and patterns of being, then we are invested with a deep spiritual autonomy. But, if we are caught in patterns that define our reality then we become devoid of autonomy. We do not here intend at all to get fatalistic and final about the patterns and structures that we carry within the psyche. These structures may be deeply intrenched in us and get are revealed cyclicly though the course of our lives. But the cyclical wheel of Karmic effect, also carries a Karmic cause, that is in fact, something not set in stone, though it may indeed be set in the ether. The Yogin is known in Hindi as Akash Pahane, this means clad in sky, or more accurately, dressing in the ether. Many Yogins in the classical sense, emulate the great nakedness and literally do not wear any clothing. There are several lines of Yogins in India who honour the great spiritual nakedness of Shiva by never covering themselves. Shiva is called Digambaar, this is a deep word with many connotations, on a basic level, it means one who is sky-clad, it means naked but it’s nakedness is it’s formlessness, and having no acquaintance to, and not being limited by the structures of psychic forms.
A naked Yogini of the past was called Akka Mahadevi, and is held in heigh esteem by the Yogins. Akka Mahadevi was a naked wandering mystic who lived in the 12th century, known for her rejection of convention and her devotional verses of mystical poetry. An ever reoccurring cyclic symbol found through her poems is the mystical nature of Shiva who she repeatedly likened to the scent of the Jasmine flower. Akka Mahadevi was a radical outside of the box Yogini, who rejected societal standards as illusionary coverings and mirages upon the naked truth. In her poems she addresses all manner of mystical and emotional themes. She is often erotic in her depiction of the yogic path, and forthrightly addresses the illusions of sexual and gender stereotypes, as well as the illusionary institutions that wrap themselves around such stereotypes. Akka Mahadevi is a figure of mythological proportions, and much about her is gleaned from her poetry. She is said to have lived a simple life of yogic devotion in the mountainous wildness, befriended by Mother Nature. As we see in the picture of herbelow, her hair was said to be very long. Her verses hint at the nakedness of truth without form. A truth that is free of structures and the cyclic forms of Karmic covering.
Here are a couple of her wondrous poems that point to the reality beyond coverings
You Can Confiscate
You can confiscate money in hand; can you confiscate the body’s glory?
Or peel away every strip you wear, but can you peel the Nothing, the Nakedness that covers and veils?
To the shameless girl wearing the White Jasmine Lord’s light of morning, you fool, where’s the need for cover and bejewel?
People, Male and Female
People, male and female, blush when a cloth covering their shame comes loose When the lord of lives lives drowned without a face in the world, how can you be modest?
When all the world is the eye of the lord, onlooking everywhere, what can you cover and conceal?
The ritual nakedness and the Tantric work of stripping away patterns is ever a reminder that structures and patterns are something pliable, in that they can be altered and played with. They may live within us and we within them. But when structure gain an immovably fixed status upon the sweep and sway of the spiritual heart, then we are closed to the creative liberty of the Goddess
For the Tantric voyager, what seems fixed, can become pliable and offer previously unknown spheres of being.
Her Farthers Mother
Aditi is the great mother Goddess. She is the principle of the eternal cosmic mother. Aditi is the mother of all the Devas and the 12 Adityas. The 12 Adityas are the Solar deities, who through the course of a year, manifest as the 12 aspects of the sun in each lunar month. The rebirth of the same essence in endlessly cyclical repetitions is expressed in Aditi. We see this most boldly expressed in the apparently boggling notion that Aditi is the mother of her own father. Her father is Daksha, who is in turn the father of the 27 star sisters who are the Nakshatras. Aditi is his mother. This is a deep subject of meditation that reveals further and deeper the secrets of Purnavasu. The Yogin takes time to meditate and ponder on this notion of the mother who mothers her own father. By such contemplations of inner celestial intuition, the Yogin psychically opens to the deeper secrets of Aditi When reading these Yogic mysteries and mythologies of stars and Goddesses, it is easy to skim over them with the conscious mind. When we skim over these mystic notions, then they remain just that. Their roots then don’t bloom any deeper into inner grasp. As such, they become easily forgotten facts of fascination. To retain a grasp of these subjects and tap the inner reservoir of deeper meanings. Meditation upon the subject is required. This is a secret to not forgetting these things and gaining a deeper grasp of their mysteries. Aditi is the etheric Akash element that pervades space invisibly. It is the essence at the root of things. When we don’t retain a system of wisdom, then we are but skimming the surface with our overland consciousness. By ground to the underground roots, we deepen and have a foundation that creates a solid tower of wisdom, that is not easily dispersed in the winds of life’s motions. Aditi brings us the secret grasping a system, by reminding us of meditating on digesting that which we imbibe. Scoffing things down without touching the sides, is the great superficial evil of the high speed age. Akash is the fundament. It is subtle spacious energy, yes, but it is also that which underlies gradually manifesting form, call it the causal plane if you will.
Aditi is the queen of etheric energy. Her all-pervasive element pervades all space. The Yogins refer to this as Akash. Akash is an element of extreme subtlety. Interestingly we see that the subtle element of Akash is also the element of the ruling planet of Purnavasu. We will consider this in the next section. Akash confers great sensitivity and is an impressionable all pervading essence that imbues all things. Purnavasu is indeed a time of sensitivity and realisation of them subtle realms.
Aditi has the wisdom of every Moon cycle, and is thus held in highest esteem by the Yogins. After all, she mothers the Aditya’s, who be the 12 Solar deities of the Moon cycles of the year. Each lunar month is a season in itself. The Yogins work ritualistically through the seasons of the Moon cycles. They do this in their ritual calendar with its encoded wisdom. For the codes to be birthed unto a living breathing tangible life, deep travel is needed, pondering, contemplation and meditation, if you will. Otherwise we merely participate in surface maneuvers and see the Yogic stories as fantastical notions that have nothing to do with us. In fact, they have everything to do with us, and are doorways to principles that we face in our souls journey through infinity. A scholarly approach is not needed, but rather a deep introverting sense of pondering. The Yogins have called this Swadhyaya, which is sometimes taken to mean to read scriptures and sacred works. The deeper meaning though, is to contemplate, meditate and ponder upon the mysteries, until the door of intuition is approached. ”All that exists outside, exists within”, is a well used Yogic axiom. Perhaps it actually needs more use and less mention? Aditi knows each of her ‘sons/suns’, and the Moons that they are bound to. At a later date we may consider each of the Adityas in deeper detail.
Aditi means unlimited, and unbound. She is the unbound mother of the Devas. She has a sister that is called Diti, which means bound and limited. The ‘A’ as a prefix implies a negation. Diti is the mother of the Asuras and is in opposition the the designs of her sister Aditi.
The principle of motherhood is to be brought to focus here. The generating force that generously pervades the entire universe without bounds, also finds its reflection within us. Motherhood is an eternally creative principle that is the very power of the soul.
Aditi presents us with a conundrum of being able to grasp structures, but at the same time, not being limited and defined by them. The heart of the mother is unbound, it is beyond all structures.
Purnavasu Nakshatra is ruled by the Brhaspati. This is the planet Jupiter. He is the expansive planet that expands to the further most reaches of the subtle world. The mythologies tell us that Brhaspati is the Guru of the Devas. He provides the Devic world with the subtle wisdom from beyond the frontiers of the Cosmos.
The Bamboo tree is the plant of Purnavasu Nakshatra. It is a plant of Jupiterarian expansion that is imbodied in its being the fastest growing plant on earth. A Bamboo tree can grow several centimeters in a single an hour. It is perfectly the planetary plant of Jupiter for its far reaching and expansive nature. It is a plant that aligns to the Akash element of boundless space, we might also consider that it is hollow and carries space internally within itself too.
In India Scoffolding of Bamboo is often used, the bamboo poles are bound together with string in a special knot. Scaffolding with Bamboo can reach phenomenal heights in the seemingly Jupitarian creation of building structures.
Purnavasu as we have seen, is the Star of growth, it is ruled over by the mother of mothers, the question here becomes: What really is growth?
In the sense of Purnavasu Nakshatra, growth is a freeing of the structures that stand in the way of expansion. When no structures obscure the path of Jupiterian expansion, then the infinite reveals itself. Releasing the Karmic structures and patterns that stand before expansive growth, is a work indeed.
Star of Growth
And so, upon this Dark Moon night, we will be working with Purnavasu Nakshatra. This Moon will touched by the lunar house of expansive growth.
Purnavasu is a star of growth that can deeply expand the ritualistic work done on its night. Purnavasu can also be taken to translate as fullness of growth. Purnavasu gives blessing and assistance to bring the seedling of intention to fruition. The planted seed can sprout if nurtured onwards into the waxing Moon cycle that is soon upon us. A ritual continues in power, if it is honoured and allowed to unfold with careful nurture.
Purnavasu Nakshatra, as we have seen, is very much the star of growth. It is the star that teaches us to look into that which stands in the way of creative growth.
This star brings to the fore, the patterns that keep us in cyclical reality. The energy invested in a cycle can be worked with and liberated towards the endless exploration of infinity. This is the vision of this Stars potential. This is a guiding vision of the Tantric Yogins.
The Dark Moon is the peak of the introverting of the lunarly sway. The Dark Moon is the deepest point of the waters ebb, just before a cycle of growth commences. Purnavasu Nakshatra occuring on a Dark Moon, is a time of expanding inwards, and introverting the spirit to look upon the structures and edifices of our psychic inner world. The waxing lunar growth thereafter, can then commence from a point of inner potency and realisation. Magical work done upon the Dark Moon is carried into growth upon the waxing cycle.
Since time immemorial, Tantrics have honoured the magical lunar cycles of ebb and flow. The Dark Moon reveals the dark underground roots and depths. By looking into the roots, we address the fruit.
The Dark Moon of Purnavasu, does not highlight or strengthen our Karmic patterns as it would if it were on a Full Moon. A Dark Moon of Purnavasu is a time when we are presented with an opportunity to step into the deep unconscious origins of our patterns.
The first Dark Moon of the darkening years half, puts us at the edge of the deep well of the unconscious world. The Dark Moon lunar vortex pulls the most unconscious energies from us. This is a good time to reflect and be aware of what is really going on within us, and reflect upon the tapestries of reality that we a weaving and re-weaving..
Tantric ritual is built upon subtle formulae that work with the energies of the Moon and stars… in their perpetual motion.
The ritual work on a Dark Moon night in the Nakshatra of Purnavasu is very much concerned with the study of our automatic reactions and the cyclical Karmic realities that we revolve and live within. And further and deeper than that, it is concerned with liberation from the codes and structures that confine the sacred heart
If you would like to join one of the rituals of the four-part series we will run throughout the month of July
Saturnian themes of restriction have played out en masse in the events we have all faced in recent times. Feeling stifled by the events of our inner and outer lives can leave us with a sense of struggling against the weight of constricting forces. In such a constellation we are made to face our deepest Karmic themes.
Sometimes on the path of life, we lose things of value to us, losing things we hold dear and love is part of the Saturnian journey towards deeper understanding and experience.
Shuni is Saturn and he is the king of the planets. He makes us face the unresolved Karmas. He is considered a grandly malefic planet that raises suffering. Shani brings about deep healing by his addressing of the roots of the situation.
He is the ruler of Tantric practices and his gaze is ever looking down to the roots of things.
Shuni is the celestial dentist that pulls the rotten tooth. It is not a pleasant affair, but it is necessary to go on living healthily.
Shuni is the grand sober reality. His flight spans the infinitely numerous psychic matrices that impress upon reality.
If we hold to the past, we lose the focus of where we are now. Letting go of the past is no easy trick of the mind. It requires a journey of releasing ourselves from the grip of the Karma that holds us, and which we are at the same time holding.
Extracting a diaphanous silken sheet strewn into a bed of thorny rises is a delicate affair. Saturn reminds us that sheet of the soul can’t be yanked free in one fell swoop.
Wanting the highest reward with the least effort is something that Saturn laughs at. Tantric work with Saturn shows us the places where we wallow. We are shown these swamps of the soul by Saturn putting us in the perspective of facing them head on. The path out is often the path in. Tantric work with Saturn makes us face our deepest themes. It makes us look at what is not usually looked at. It brings the unseen to sight.
Sometimes our paths diverge from things that are hard to release. Sometimes we never learn about the power of release. Release oftentimes, might be thought of as cutting something off, but in truth nothing can so simply be cut away and disposed of.
Saturn carries a paradoxical teaching that shows us that, that which we wish to cut off and avoid is a magical doorway to wisdom.
Digits and Time
Saturn is the lord of time and rhythmic intelligence, as such his digits ought to be spelled out clearly. He moves slowly, steadily and deeply through the constellations of the Zodiac. Of the 9 planets of the Yogins, Saturn is the most time honouring, taking 3 decades to move through the 12 constellations of the zodiac. Spending a period of almost 3 years in each constellation.
At the present time, Saturn is landed in his natural constellation of Power in Makara Rashi, which is the ancient constellation of the Crocodile. Saturn rules the book of disciplined study. Learning and retaining what we learn is in his grip. Saturn is careful and precise in measurement. He has a unblinking eye that ever rests upon the flame of our life.
His hand ever rests on the dark side of the Moon, knowing the exact time of extinguishing the flame. Saturn sees through the games of chance that we lay upon his table. He is all about absolute certainties and stone cold reality. The gambles and the games we play to avoid his glare, only bring him closer and make him heavier. The Tantrics know him as Shuni, which translates as the heavy crusher. He sees every single movement we make within the realms of time that belong to him.
Birth of the Unconscious
Taking the form of a dark intense man who rides upon Crow, Shuni is overbearing, majestic, mysteriously and fearsomely punishing and spellbinding. Shuni brings birth to that which is yet unconscious. He stirs the Dormant life in us to reveal itself.
The Crow can eat anything. Feared perhaps for its mystical aura and forboding countenance that reminds us of the underworld and the deep.
This messenger of Saturn fears not to put it’s beak into the most forbidden and denied of things. The Crow of Saturn will peck as easily into a sweet toffee, as it will into the most stagnantly putrid and feared realms of existence.
The crow of Saturn has the ability to bring the dormant to wakefulness, by drawing that which sleeps from out of the old cot.
Anubis and the Heart
Saturn is power of the heart. The deep rich and heavy matured solidity of the heart is worth more than its weight in Gold. Weight has value. If something has weight, it has substance, depth and reality.
The light and wispy life loses root and risks to dry up into an empty husk. Saturn, brings the nourishing weight of the grain that we should be harvesting if we are to avoid spiritual malnourishment. These words are hard, but Saturn is even harder. He is the weight that makes the Diamond.
The Egyptian mysteries tell of the Jackal headed god Anubis. Anubis also takes the form of an obsidianly black coloured dog. It is Anubis who is said to take the soul to the realm beyond life, when the candle of earthly life has been extinguished.
Anubis is the keeper of the scales of truth, just like Saturn, the scales that Anubis guards, reveal the truth and reality of the state of the heart.
In the hall of truth, the heart is revealed and seen naked, it is revealed to be either an empty husk, or a receptacle full of love. It all depends upon whether the heart has scattered itself in restless superficial fancies, or whether it has learned the deepest Saturn lessons of love.
Tantrics have tied themselves the deepest depths of the Saturn heart, by remaining in one place of timelessness for long stretches of time.
In the realm that Anubis carries the soul too after death, the heart is weighed for its true worth upon the Saturnian Karmic scales of Justice.
If the heart is light, empty and superficial, it outweighs the feather of Maat, this is the feather of truth.
If on the other hand, the heart is full of weighted power and Saturnian depth, then it balances with the feather and reveals the power of the balanced wings of love, that can fly to the deepest depths of loves roots, as well as to sweetest fruit in celestial heights.
The sweetest fruit and the deepest root can’t be separated. It is a spiritual law of nature in all the worlds. These laws belong to Saturn. He is the elder and teacher, who enduringly teaches the timeless laws.The Ancestral Journey of the Crow.
The dark Moon each month is a time of ancestral healing work for Tantrics.It is the time when the veil that hovers over the portal between the ancestral and earthy plane is at its thinnest. The dark moon vortex draws us up to the ancestral world and reveals the tendencies of our heritage that live within us. Shuni Amvasya then, becomes a time of revealing the most unconscious ancestral tendencies within us. Shuni is the lord of Karma who ever gazes down, his downward gaze reminds us that he sees into the deep roots of unconscious tendencies.This is a night of discovering the ancestral tendencies that move us from behind the scenes.
Shuni is the planet Saturn, the dark slow 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 our yet unresolved issues and Karmic lessons.
Shuni teaches by the force of weight, taking us with his weight into the depths of 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.
If truth be told:
‘Shuni is truth’
If you would like to join one of the rituals of the four-part series we will run throughout the month of July