A Generous Helping of Starry Moon Milk


I got a better way
I discovered a Star
I got a better way
Ready, set, go.

D. Bowie – New Killer Star

This rising Half Moon on Wednesday will be in the Nakshatra (lunar house) of Pushya – which means, quite literally the nourisher. Brhaspati (Jupiter) is Guru to the gods and is the deity of this lunar house. He is connected to wisdom, expansion and subtle thought.

Pushya is an auspicious star, that shines nourishment, prosperity and growth to us on earth. The Motherly Pushya Nakshatra is contained within the constellation of Cancer and has 3 stars. Pushya Nakshatra occurring on an ascending Half Moon is a powerful and auspicious placement that helps us to see into the consequences of the decisions we make. Pushya offers us the energy conducive to nourish new beginnings, decisions and opportunities.

The Star Goddess Tara has her Jayanti (annual commemoration) upon this night of nourishment. Tara appears only at night, just as her name which means Star implies.

Tara has the wisdom of converting poison into nourishing medicine. She feeds us with the healing blue twilight milk of her celestially starry breast. Hers is the twilight milk that dissolves the sharp definitions between dark and light, safety and fear, seen and unseen.

The story tells us that when the mighty Shiva suffered great turmoil for drinking the Halahala poison. Out of maternal compassion, Tara fed Shiva from her breast with a generous helping of healing Starry Moon Milk.

The Mirror of Nourishment

Brhaspati is the planet Jupiter. He is the Guru to the gods. He is the deity of this lunar house and is connected to wisdom, expansion and subtle thought.

Pushya is the amplifier, Pushya as an adjective indicates someone who is well nourished, healthy and rosey-cheeked like a well fed baby.

Brhaspati knows which things give nourishment and which things do not. Brhaspati sees into the subtle underlying forces of the phenomenal universe and knows and shows exactly which things are magically reflected back by the decisions that we take. When we look at the meaning of his name we see this principle at play, Brhas means that which nourishes and magnifies, Pati means master. So literally Brhaspati is the master of that which nourishes, magnifies and increases.

In this Nakshatra,
Brhaspati brings us this very teaching,
giving us the vision
of the mirror of nourishment.

The mirror of nourishing force might be smeared, if so, it won’t fully reflect things back to us. If the mirror is pristine then it reciprocates that which is given into it. Nourishment is like this. We could just as well say, if the soil is well tilled and receptive, then it will give back of the seed that we sow there. If the soil is hardened and strewn with rocks then the seeds will fall into a barren death.

We sometimes put our energy into things where nothing comes back to us. If we focus our concentration and go into the subtle underlying forces of the phenomena of our lives, we might get closer to the vision of what we are actually feeding. The reasons we might be feeding some things that do not nourish us is a lesson of the highest magic, this is the investigation of the Tantric. Nourishing dead soil naturally leads us into a life of malnutrition. If the soil fertilizes the seed then we have harvest. Harvest starts on the subtle planes and manifests into the tangible.

A Time to Decide

Pushya is the magical milk of nourishment. The lunar vessel on the night of Pushya is half full with the illumination of Moonlight. The Moon will be beaming the rays of Pushya to us on earth on this coming half Moon. As it is the rising Moon, it will continue to expand the psychic action and decision we take upon this night. 

This is a most favourable position
to give an impetus of growth
to our visions and decisions.

The half rising Pushya Moon brings an impetus of nourishment that can profoundly support our human undertakings. This Nakshatra is aptly symbolised by a milk-filled fortifying cows udder and a lotus flower in the height of bloom.

The Pushya Half Moon is a good time for new undertakings and making clear resolutions of the stray and fraying edges of the psychic fabric of our being. The lunar energy on the half rising Pushya Moon, reveals, two roads of our destiny in stark distinction. It is a time of thinking soberly about where we are going and perhaps even seeing into… what the outcome of our endeavours could really be.

Pushya pours milk-like nourishment and fulfilment into the infancies of our visions upon earth, it is a mothering star for this reason, who like a mother, gives flesh, form and nourishment to the infancy of any vision and undertaking. Those new ventures undertaken on a Pushya full Moon can bear great fruit and success if one continues the ever attentive work of nourishment.

Living off the Fat of the Land

The lesson of Pushya Nakshatra is all about developing the awareness of nourishing the opportunities we receive. There might be opportunities around us that we don’t always see. There might be openings that we are not able to recognise as doorways to power.

There is an old Indian teaching story of a person wandering in a dark labyrinth-like place. They went round and round, ever and always looking for the doorway out of their prison, but each and every time they actually reached the door to their freedom, the draft that came in, caused a moment of distraction in which they scratched their head, and so they ever missed the way out and continued in eternal circles.

It is perhaps easy
to take our health, successes
and opportunities for granted. 

Even if our receivings are generous, they dwindle away if the law of nourishment is forgotten. What is that law? Perhaps the work of a good earning is never to be taken for granted and one must remember that the soil must be eternally nourished and tilled. Perhaps we are brought to question our notions of wealth by the Pushya star constellation. 

If we realise that there is no resignation or retirement in magical matters of growth, then we might be spared from psychic death. Living off the fat of the land and laying down one’s tools is perhaps the biggest and most crippling of all fallacies.

The Lotus in Bloom

Pushya also carries another law of nourishment to us by its rulership over the lotus flower. The law of nourishing by halves is implicit in our lives. A period of exertion is naturally followed by respite. Living by the sun is replaced by the nightly retirement into the darkness.

This law of dualisms is starkly reflected in the being of the lotus flower. A flower held in high esteem by the Yogins. The Lotus is a flower with far-reaching roots that gains her nourishment from deep dark of marshy subterranean places. The lesson and law of nourishment by the way of polarity is inherent in the Lotus. This flower is greatly prized for its beauty and honest and generous teaching of the laws of reality. The Lotus flower spreads magnificence and emanates an aura of an almost otherworldly beauty. This mystical bloom shows us how it’s beauty and nourishment comes from the underground of dark, womb-deep places. The precious Lotus flower that spreads her colour and scent in the visible world obeys – perhaps like no other – the law of nourishing by polarity. The Yogins tell us time and again to be like the Lotus flower.

Pushya is the deep introspective study
of the Lotus flower…
so magical and so natural.

The Psychic Web of Karma.

Pushya is regarded as the lucky star, but luck is dependent upon the actions that we take. What is luck exactly? The luck that Pushya offers us is conditional upon the choices that we make and the energies that we nourish. A bloom is a thing of beauty. Throwing seed upon wintery granite grave and hoping for luck to bring us the beauty of a blossom growth is obviously an act of absurdity. The same seed cast upon fertile moist soil in spring is far more likely to result in growth. We see in this way that what we might term as luck, is dependent on choices of wise vision.

Karmic effect
is the manifestation
of a resonant energy field
that lives in the psychic hemisphere
of our being.

When something involves us and touches all the aspects of our being then it becomes a web that catches the phenomena of our lives. Tantric ritual practices work with the principle of the psychic web of energy, by attempting to engage the full range of our being, both the unrevealed and revealed parts of ourselves.

The law of Karma is often summed up as ‘what you sow you reap’. Karma is not as simple a matter as to reduce actions to a moral code of obedience, that is punished or rewarded according to the degree of abidance or deviation. 

Karma lives in the very psychic realities that we align ourselves to. Some of what we align to might be out of sight and invisible to us. The Tantric process of making the invisible become visible, then becomes a way to navigate beyond the psychic webs of Karma. What lays beyond the webs of Karma is unknowable while we are within the web, we are dealing with a great mystical voyage.

The psychic karmic realities that are we aligning to, become the investigation of Pushya. 

Karma could aptly be described as a magnetic psychic web.

  • What kind of web are we weaving? 
  • Perhaps we are the spider and the fly?
  • Are we catching life of death?
  • Or perhaps a little bit of both?
Still from ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’, 1945

Smears on the Psychic Mirror

What are the reasons why we might be feeding dead soil and therefore reaping a desolate harvest? Might it be based on the illusions that we have taken in? These illusions are called the Granthis by the Tantrics. Granthis are like smears on the psychic mirror of the self. It is these smears that cause the reflection of life to be reduced to obscure knotted forms.

Brhaspati (Jupiter) is the Guru of the gods and he is a strict discriminatory force. He is most generous indeed but he only gives to those who meet his subtle psychic standards.

Shukracharia (Venus) is the opposite of Brhaspati. Venus is the Guru who gives generously and indiscriminately of his riches. This is why he is the chosen Guru of the Asuras. 

The Asuras are the beings of dualistic destruction. Very often we see that the Asuras are described as demons, but this does not at all translate correctly what the Asuras really are and carries too many foreign connotations to be accurate.  Venus gives us prosperity, joy and pleasure in an earthly sense (Shukra in his name literally means the essence and seed). Venus spreads out and down and is received by laying down.  Jupiter on the other hand moves up and out and takes the opposite action to gravity. In other words…

…to reach the levels of Jupiter,
it takes a psychic climb
through the winding
labyrinths and stairways
of the mind.

Polishing the Mirror

Brhaspati (Jupiter) is reached through psychic Tapasya (effort). Tapasya could be called the polishing of the Psychic Mirror of the self.This is the effort to go beyond the frontiers of consciousness and towards the ultra-terrestrial potentials of the psyche.

Brhaspati is the master of magical ritual formulae. It is he who leads us beyond the limits of consciousness through his penetrating force within magical ritual. He is the Jupitarian high-priest with the magical wisdom that transforms the subtle layers of reality… which in turn change the experience of reality itself. He is the doorway keeper to the mysteries beyond the known, his conditions take the work of undoing and outdoing oneself. Unlike Venus who gives it for free.

Pushya brings a blessing of vision to us on earth. That blessing is the ability to make the right decisions. There are other Nakshatra’s that bring us different lessons pertaining to nourishment. The Yogin studies the lessons written in the stars, by tuning into the celestial forces through ritualistic formulae and devotion.

In conclusion, Pushya’s particular lesson, as we have seen, is very much concerned with finding the distinction between that which nourishes and that which does not. One of the symbols of this Star is the cow’s udder. This is the naturally most nourishing place for the baby. The soul that finds the nourishing breast in all arenas of life, becomes the baby, nourished by Mother Nature.

If you would like to join us in ritual
on Wendesday’s Ascending Half Moon
for Tara Jayanti


Hara Ring