Posts In: shadow work

LOHRI

January 3, 2021

Welcoming Back the Light

Amvasya | Dark Moon
Wednesday, 13th January 2021

Loh means light and gives its name to this festival day of welcoming back the light. This is an ancient Indian pagan festival that is celebrated in the North of India. It has echoes in South Indian festivals that occur at the same time. On the other side of India, 1000s of kilometres away in the south on the same day, Bhogi festivals are celebrated, which have identical elements. All these festivals are centred around the lighting of sacred fires.

To befriend, 
& become befriended, by Nature 

Tantrics have aligned to these rituals as a way to both befriend and be befriended by nature. Such so-called pagan celebrations of the rhythms of nature have been dismissed by orthodoxly as primitive and based on superstition. 

Tantra 
is a pagan tradition 
of honouring 
the forces of nature. 

Some of the traditions and festivals became assimilated into the widespread arena of religion while others remain more obscure or only regionally acknowledged.

What may not be apparent to Westerners is that orthodox religion in India is highly organized and deeply discriminatory within a class system that itself strives to keep in place such discriminations.

There are temples in India where only higher classes are admitted, this seems to have gotten even more corrupt with the passage of time. The higher caste priestly orders, have their fingers in politics and economics more than might be known.

Tantra, on the other hand, especially within this Left Hand Path, has been horizontally organised outside of formal institutions and widely inclusive, both of class and gender differences

Western Views 
& the excessive fire of modernity

Until recent times, 
Yoga in India was a male-only tradition.
Western women were allowed
to join practices
because of their money
& their status.

Western women have entered into the yoga arena only within the past century and because of the generous economic offerings they were making to Gurus and their ashrams. It is common in fact still today for higher class priests and teachers to admit Western women into their classes, but refuse Indian women.

A lot of the rituals 
that the male line carries out 
are paradoxically not suitable for women, 
though Western women 
might be the main followers
of the practices.

Fire rituals are most unsuitable for women, they can cause great imbalance to the female bodily chemistry, disturbing the reproductive faculties and menstruation. 

The female chemistry carries an excess of fire in accordance with menstrual rhythms. These rhythms can become agitated and disturbed when working with powerful and unsuitable rituals that involve fire. Rituals are to be understood as powerful harnessing of energies that produce powerful effects. That we live in a very solar oriented society, with excess of light in terms of electricity, already gives an excess of fire to the organism. 

Fire rituals came from a pre-electricity era, it must be remembered. 

Both the modern man and woman suffer from the imbalance of excessive fire and heat in the system. Cooling practices are more called for in this time to balance the solar and lunar forces in both the psychic and physical organism.

Many of the structures of the prevalent Vedic mantras do not include the feminine Matrikas (tones) and unbalance the female constitution, if overly worked with.

It is essential to see 
that the ritual practices 
of the Vedas 
were never meant for women.

They have indeed landed in the hands of organised patriarchy and carry forward great streaks of fascism in the way that the philosophy of the Vedas has been used and manipulated by the higher classes to subjugate and exploit people greatly under the pretexts of religious dictates.

Witches & Pagans
Wisdom of the un-Civilised

Not all Indians actually honour the orthodoxy and the higher priestly classes in the same manner that Westerners often do. Those who are not in the elite know by direct experience how the higher religious classes mix their powers with religion to subjugate and exploit what they – the higher classes – deem as the common and uneducated pagans.

The tribal, 
shamanic & Shakti traditions 
have often been outcast 
from the orthodoxy 
as lesser or uncivilised.

The Tantrics did not arise as a reactionary measure towards the orthodoxy as several popular Western scholars of Indian lore have assumed. The Tantric wisdom predates organised form, and is the natural essence that imbues and developed into organised form. 

Tantra 
is the uncivilised 
and pagan roots 
of all Orthodoxy.

It is like the folk wisdom of the Witches in the West, who were burned by the patriarchal inquisition and replaced their wisdom with codes and structures that go against nature and the laws of compassion.

Northern Talk

There is a saying in Punjab 
that if you see a priest 
first thing after leaving your house 
you should go back home 
and wash yourself of the filth of their presence.

Although Lohri is a festival that is confirmed today to some parts of Northern India, once upon a time this festival was embraced by the whole of the rural people of the North. 

Even Pakistan, when it was still part of India – in relatively recent times – and not a separate state as it is now – It was a place of Tantra that recognised festivals such as Lohri which are now commonly regarded as minor folk festivals that do not enter into the religious mainstream.

Tantra still thrives in an underground form in the North of India, where many of the ancient natural pagan rites are adhered to. In places such as the Punjab this can be seen. Both the external and the underground Tantric practices that are prevalent there, are more in the tradition of shamanism and Nath cults that are not always linked to some of the well known hierarchical Sampradaya orders, but have their own origins and lesser known and secret lineages.

Punjab is a northern region of India infamous for its raw disregard of upper class orthodox elitism. It is also a state in India where 5 rivers converge. The 5 rivers of Punjab correspond to the 5 nadis (energy lines) of the throat centre. Indeed the North Indians are highly vocal and known throughout India to produce the most legendary singers. This is why Lohri is a festival of song and festivity.

Rock your Baby

Lohri in the North is also understood to mean ‘to rock a baby’. Newborns are blessed upon this day. The first Lohri of newborns is a time of great celebration and the reception and giving of blessings. The Hisdray arrive to bless children on this celebratory day.

The Hisdray or Kusray – as they are called in the Northern states – bring blessings to Babies and Newlyweds

Hisdray
are an ancient & mysterious 
cult of eunuchs 
– transvestites, hermaphrodites 
& more recently transexuals –
who have the power of Vaak Siddhi:
the power of blessing or cursing
through speech.

They come to bless upon the day of Lohri to both babies at their first Lohri. The festivities  involve group prayers, games, song, dance and other festivities of Lohri, sweets are made, given and collected, fires are lit and games are played.

Honouring the Guest

What many people commonly do to celebrate the winter solstice is basically done on Lori. Fires are built at sunset and circumambulated. But why is Lohri not celebrated upon the Winter Solstice?

The Solstice is a solemn time of the year’s longest night, a time when the night forces are in full force and honoured by the Tantrics by immersing themselves fully in darkness. 

The Dark 
is deeply tuned into 
around Solstice 
by Tantrics.

When a long staying guest leaves our house. It takes time to acknowledge their absence and come back to a settled state without them there. This is how Tantrics consider Winter Solstice.

Lighting a fire 
on the Winter Solstice 
equals to rejoicing 
for the guest leaving 
while the guest 
is still in your home.

Tantric allow for the guest – darkness – to leave with dignity and mourn their departure. Perhaps the modern denial of the night forces is responsible for lighting fires even before the guest of half the year has departed. In the Tantric view it is ungraceful and ungrateful to see off the dark in such a way. For she has given so much. What she has given exactly is for one to discover for themselves.

The Tantric learns to honour the feminine forces of the dark and lingers and pays respect for a while, as she trails off into the shadows.

Some of the folk games played by children on Lohri reflect this. In one such play of children, the child is painted black and tied with a rope held by his friends, he asks for Lohri (sweets) in a sing sing type of way at the doors of his neighbors. If they do not respond sufficiently the rope that restrains him is loosened by his friends and he enters the house to break things therein!

The symbol 
of the game is explicit, 
the Dark is asking 
for a gift & blessing 
before it can depart 
knowing it has been appreciated, 
& honoured.

The dark gives her gift when she has been honoured. Just like the gift of a child that emerges from the dark womb after a 9 month stretch inside the Mother.

Interestingly, children and newborns are blessed on this day which is believed to carry a great blessing for rising strength.
At the other side of India, in the South, in the same day Bhogi Pandigai is celebrated. It is also a festival of blessing children and lighting fires.

The First Dark Moon

A rarity, 
Lohri occurs this year 
in its original 
Tantric place of power 
upon the Dark Moon.

The first Amvasya (dark Moon), following the winter solstice, sees the time to let go and say farewell to the dark season. It is a time to begin lighting fires for the new uprising guest of expanding days that is upon us as the Moon waxes for the first time in a full round after Solstice. As the Moon rises from the Amvasya she brings with her the season that reflects the sun.

Tantrics work with honour the fire on the ritual day of Lohri. Saying  farewell to the dark and welcoming the light. Nuts and seeds are thrown into the fire with prayers, as a way of releasing the old and welcoming the new.  In some regions, old garments and items that hold old energy are put to the flames of rebirth.

The next day after Lohri is marked as a Makar Sankranti or Maghi Sangrand – this is the beginning of the new calendar month, known as as Maghi in the North, and the month of Tai in the Tamil calendar.

Day of the Crocodile

Sankranti or Sangrand is the first day of the month. Makar or Maghi means crocodile. It represents a new astrological force coming into effect and raising the season to one of light and warmth, under the reflection of the first waxing moon of the light half of the year.

Makar Sankranti is a day that recognises that the coldest day has passed, and the heat is building by the growth of the first Moon-round post winter-solstice. Kites are flown, in many regions, this represents the rising new season. In Gujarat, this is a central custom in the festival which is there called Uttarayan. Kites abound in the skies at this time, though the custom still exists, it has declined in recent decades as the hand of modernity sweeps across ancient customs. In the South, Sankranti Makar corresponds to the festival of Surya or Tai Pongal, many of the ritualistic customs are similar to those of the North, even down to the dishes that are cooked. 

Pongal is widely celebrated by the Tamil people – the Southernmost state of India.

Makar Sankranti traditionally begins with a morning dip at sunrise in a river, even when the temperatures are freezing. This is a symbolic and magical gesture of cooling the body and spirit for the heat of Surya (sun) that is rising with the coming Month. The day of Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of Uttarayanna – this is when the sun enters the 10th zodiac house of Makara.

Makara 
corresponds to 
the western Capricorn sign,
& is symbolised 
by a Crocodile. 

Makar Sankranti indeed derives its name from Makara, the crocodile constellation. The dip in a river in the early Morning on this day that brings with it a new rising astrological cycle is a way of honouring the Crocodile energy. 

The Goddess Ganga (as in the river Ganges) rides upon the crocodile Makara, as does the God Varuna, the deity of the seas. The cooling blessings of the water element are sought as the moon raises the tide for the first time post-solstice at the beginning of the season of building heat. The energies of water and fire come together at this sacred festival time. 

The fire is lit at sunset on Lohri and burns till sunrise when the water dip is traditionally taken.

Tantra
Keeping the Spirit Alive 

As modernity has set in and altered the structures of living, the celebration has started to decline from a form of ritual worship into a public holiday even within rural communities over the last decades.

Sacred days often can be lost and turned into commercial festivities where the aspect of ritual is removed from its central position. Alternatively religious or cultural dogma can pervade such festivities, until the essence and power of the ritual day is obscured.

Tantrics are those who keep the sacred rituals and their significance alive by imbuing them with life force and Tapasya (spiritual effort) 

If the sacred days are understood as portals, to be worked with and honoured in a ritualistic manner, then the chance of taking them for granted as mere customs, or dismissing them as superstitions is safeguarded.

In Defence of Magic

Lohri 
reveals how modernity 
can swallow magic 
and erode powerful 
necessary rights of passage, 
necessary if we are to align 
to the Wisdom of Nature.

The festival of Lohri has much to show us, if we reflect upon the light it sheds carefully (Lohri literally means enlightening).  Lohri reveals how powerful rituals and customs bring people together in communal prayer and blessing. This is the very essence of Tantric ritual.

Lohri reveals how the solar light-oriented face of civilisation does not give honour to the balance of nature’s two ever-present, mutually informing and empowering forces of dark & light.

Lohri reveals that the deepest wisdom, which is the Wisdom of Nature, can easily be glanced at sideways as primitive by the patriarchal eyes of orthodoxy.

And what Lohri perhaps most importantly can reveal to us is to align our currents to what nature is telling and showing us, and not push the guest out of the house before thanking them for the gift of their presence. For in doing so we banish magic from our lives.

If you would like to join the ritual,
CLICK HERE.

KALI PUJA

December 18, 2020

The Womb of Creation

Monday 21 December


A big planetary
rotation of forces
occurs on Winter Solstice,
as the longest night
of the year
takes us to the very depth
of outer darkness.
This extended darkness
of the macrocosm
is mirrored
in our inner microcosm,
as we are but a reflection
of nature.

– Boonath

Dear Friends of the Healing Circle of Shadow & Light,

The longest night of the year is upon us.
Winter Solstice presents a polarity shift in the three worlds, that is the earthly, the lunar, and the underworld.

This holds true in both a physical and spiritual sense. The physical energies in our body are expressed in the three metals of Silver, Gold and Iron. These elements intersect with our spiritual being and influence us deeply.

The Solstice is such a day of potent physical and spiritual influence, tantrics recognise this and timelessly work with and harness such cosmic waves in the context of healing ritual.

Moon, Sun & the Black planet
Shuni (Saturn)
are expressed in the metals
silver, gold and iron.

On the morning following the winter Solstice, the rising light will melt the cycle that we have been in and the solar force will lengthen the days in the endless cycle of Death, Life and Mystery.
In the language of Tantra, Silver is lunar, Gold is solar and Iron is Saturnian darkness.

The balance
of these ever moving
three elements
is the Tantric pursuit.

The right measure of each, opens doorways within and without and creates magic.
Upon cosmic events such as the Solstice, Silver, Gold and Iron meet upon the year’s longest night and a transform of relationship between them and us takes place.
The structures of one’s Soul can be glimpsed within such polarity-shifting times under the guidance of the Tantric goddess Kali.

KALI MANDIR

The Womb is the Temple

The deep shadows that obscure her face are glanced and glared into, upon this ritual tantric night of Kali Puja, that is, the night of the Dark Goddess.
Tantrics reveal that the shadows of the womb are most accessible upon this night most Tantric.

Kali Mandir
is the Tantric name
for the Womb.

It translates as the temple of the dark goddess.
Kala is time, but Kali is that which takes away time. This is revealed in the Tantric image of Kali Dancing upon the body of Shiva. Shiva lays there with phallus erect, receiving the life giving currents of the One who destroys time. That one is Kali Ma, the Dark mother.

The child in the womb lives in the timeless realm. The Child’s birth is a death out of timelessness into the realm of time. This realm of time is the realm of Kala. It is the realm of time and space, the realm of cause and effect, in which we live and die.

HEALING

The Traumas of the Womb

Kali Puja is a night when the axis shifts and the days start to lengthen, it is a death of the dark season and a first birth of the light. Kali is most powerful on this night of witchery just before, when her night is the longest we will know in the year.

The darkness
creates a portal
that draws the spirits near
and offers a chance of healing
deep ancestral Karmas
related to the womb.
The womb being
the one that birthed
the whole enterprise.

The womb refers to the Shakti area of creation in both Woman and Man.
This long night has a very deep energy that can be observed by listening to the currents of energy. It is a night as deep as the womb of Kali Ma, the womb from whence we came and to which we will return.
Tantrics have followed these junctions since time immemorial and aligned themselves in concentrated ritual to the currents of nature.

We will follow suit
and partake of many
a dark mudra and mantra
on this night of Ceremony
to the Dark mother herself.

Practices of working with the womb are central to this night. What more can be said other than that it is a deep place, indeed the deepest cave of all creation.

SOMAVATI AMVASYA

December 8, 2020

DARK MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE

MONDAY 14th December

This will be the last dark Moon of the year, the dark time when the night will be at its longest.

A further blessing is that this dark Moon falls upon a Monday, Somavhwar, literally the ‘Day of Soma’ – the Moon God. 

If a dark moon falls upon a Somavhwar it is known as the festival of Somavati and it occurs only once or twice a year, bringing forth many Tantric rites. It is an event most conducive for practice and for seeking healing, especially in relation to ancestral work.

BLOOD, SEX & DEATH

The Tabooed Forces of Life

Somavati is a day when water, milk and blood (in the form of wine) are worked with ritualistically.

The wine represents the blood of Kali (the Goddess of Life), the Milk is the juice of Kamakhya (the Goddess of Desire), and the water represents the river of time in the realm of Kala Bhairava (God of Death, which we celebrated last monday).

It is with these divine forces of blood, sex and death that we shall work with on Monday’s ritual in the search for healing our relationship to Life, Pleasure and Surrender, which are often infused with patters and Shadows we struggle to understand in our daily lives.

SOLAR ECLIPSE

The Spirits come to Heal

The coming Dark Moon is the last one embedded within the darkening half year of lengthening nights, upon this we have a solar eclipse, known to Tantrics as a Surya Grah.

Spiritual practices on eclipses 
are intensified 100 fold, 
it is said in Tantra.
It is a time when consciousness 
is overshadowed 
& the application of our psychic will
proves the strength of Soul.
The spirits are close 
to the earth plane on eclipses 
& much healing 
with the world of spirit 
can be set in motion.

Traditionally it is a time when our ancestors would stay inside and not venture outside. Mundane activities would be left to rest and one would rather take to spiritual focus in times of eclipse.

These things are slowly being forgotten and classified as a mere superstition by Modernity which overshadows spiritual wisdom.

By being sensitive to our inner currents of feeling, we come to see the spiritual dimension of our being, which the eye of civilisation has been trained to overlook.

The Moon  under the rulership of Soma, relates to fluidity and flow of life force.

In Tantra, Soma refers to the Moon and carries several connotations.

SOMA

The Moon’s Healing Fluid

Soma refers to the sacred 
& Healing Moon fluid. 
It is a subtle 
psycho/physical compound 
that is the essence of Tejas 
– the cool fire 
of psychic & spiritual power.

The opposite of Tejas is the hot fire of Agni.
Tantra is concerned with bringing both the cooling and the heating fires into a balanced dance with each other.

Soma vivifies and creates, whereas Agni consumes and destroys. Both of these fires are needed in the correct proportions in the constituents of our body and spirit. A balance of these forces is required to open the subtle portals of awareness. 

An abundance of Agni fire in our psycho/physical mechanism is the ill of modern times. The overemphasis of Agni not only consumes the finer currents of awareness but creates stress in the system and ages the body.

Soma on the other hand is the juice of eternal youth – you may enjoy reading a previous post, The Forgotten Jewel of Tantra, which goes in more details about the qualities of Soma.

Some forms of Shakti consume Soma and some forms of Shakti vivify the Soma fluid of the Moon within us. Heating pursuits and emotions, extroversion and over activity consume Soma.

Introversion, rest and slowing down the currents of being are what nurture Soma. Noise and speech create Agni, which is hot and active. Silence and stillness create Soma, which is brewed in passivity.

Passivity is a quality 
that might have disappeared 
from our lives 
& considered a sign 
of weakness of illness even. 
In Tantra it is sought 
like a rare jewel.

Passivity is a secret Moon-type state of consciousness that the Yogis venture to know in the midst of the fires and actions of life.
The Yogis prize Soma and are cautious and careful to nurture, cultivate and preserve it. Soma is psychic power.

Soma is the cool healing fire that melts the obstructions in the way of our Shakti life energy. The cool fire of Soma is not as obvious as the active expression of Agni.

Soma lives internally and signifies and is experienced as a magical inner life.. .perhaps even independent of external factors. The introverted fire of Soma is an internal glow that gives one strength of focus and ‘awake-ness’ upon the astral levels.

AGNI

The Fire of (Self-)Destruction

In present times 
Agni burns strong 
& stands in a predominant place. 
This is most visible 
in the magnitude of destruction 
on a planetary scale, 
through wars, 
violence towards all forms of life, 
& even in the warming of the atmosphere. 
There is too much heat 
in the system.

This calls for the cultivation of Soma, which must become a priority both individually and collectively if we wish to shift the balance back to a state of harmony.

To give strength to the God of softness and simplicity that Soma is. Soma is cultivated in simplifying our lives. Somnath is one of the names which Shiva goes by, for he is the eternal Yogi who wears the moon in his hair.

Somnath lives in the spirit of all souls who tread the path of shining in the dark.  The path of the Magic Moonlight. Like the moon that shines brightly in the night sky, Soma is cultivated in the dark.

The practice of Kechari Mudra has several preparatory steps, it is initiated and practiced when the Soma Moon is at its strongest.

Ketchari 
is a secret science of Mudra 
that activates points of energy 
in the system 
that releases Soma 
in the form of a hormonal substance 
that creates profound 
softness & trance.

PRACTICES ON SOMAVATI

Honouring the Ancestors

The day of Somavati happens rarely, one or twice yearly when a dark Moon falls on a Monday, it is a strong ritualistic time, when it is combined with an eclipse it is made more profound, a most rare occurrence it be.

It is a time to give homage 
to the deceased ancestors. 
To perform Shraddh 
(psychic ritualistic offerings) 
this is to bless & heal 
the spirits of one’s dead ancestors. 

To assist in earthbound elements that can affect us in the Astral world, tantrics call this effect the Pitru Dosha. Somavati is a sacred ritual time of liberating Pitru Dosha. The new Moon sequence of Chandra Parampara supports this and is ritualistically practiced by the tantrics at this Moon junction.

Chandra Parampara is the Yog sequence of practice that among all the practices of Yog. It creates the greatest softening and flexibility in the organism, both psychicaly and physically.
Prayer and ritual under the Soma Moon is a time of opening body and soul towards the deepest levels of softness.

Simplification is the way to Soma… and the way of Soma.

We shall work with the three liquids that make up Soma. They equal Soma if they are balanced in equal equations.
Blood, Milk and Water shall lay upon the altar on this a Dark Moon night – the Darkest Moon of the Year.

You would be most welcome to join the Online Ritual
on Monday 14th of December

Maha Kaal Bhairav Jayanti

December 7, 2020

To Face One’s Own Death
Descending Half Moon Ritual

“Oh Bhairav,
Ruler of the North,
You who are the House of Death,
And the Death itself,
You who are Time,
Teach us the secrets of Fear and Devotion,
Maha Kaal Siddhi be yours to teach,
The magical secret beyond time.”

Boonath

Monday the 7th of December is the Descending Half Moon. This is known to Tantrics as the annual day of Maha Kaal BhairavJayanti, the ‘birthday’ (Jayanti) of Kaal Bhairav, the Tantric deity of darkness and fear. The 8th night of lunar waning every month is Sacred to Bhairav, the darkest form of Shiva.
The 8h descending lunar night is known as Bhairav Astami. Or Kaal Astami.
Kaal means time, Astami means the eighth. The last Bhairav Astami of the dark half of the year is the most sacred one and is Bhairav Jayanti, which is why it is considered Bhairav’s ‘birthday’ (Jayanti).

Kaal Bhairav represents Time and Death. In fact,  Kaal means ‘dark’. He is represented as the Crow master who rides upon the Black Dog. Crows and black dogs belong to his realm and are the messengers of his secrets.
Kaal Bhairav is the heavy and slow planet Saturn. The Planet Saturn is highly active upon the inner astral plane in the Northernmost hemisphere at this time of the year.
This night of Bhairav is sandwiched right between the last Full and Dark Moons of the Darkest Season of the year, when the length of the nights are at their peak and Tantrics spend time investigating the dark layers of their being.
   

THE DEEP DARK LAYERS

Of the Soul

In the ritualistic circle of Tantra this is a time in which to study the deep dark layers of oneself, peeling away the outer layers like an onion to reach the sometimes tear-inducing taboos of the nether-regions.  

Subjects such as death,
fear and time are approached
in this ritualistic night.

Time is of the essence and our time can be something devoid of magic. It then becomes something to waste away when it is barren of moonlit magic.
Some of the modern rituals we repeat are worth our investigation. If something is repeatedly done with our concentration then it becomes a ritual.
Rituals can both entrap and liberate.
Kaal Bhairav ritual-worship has the potential to show us the most obvious yet easily unseen things of what we are doing with time – or perhaps what time is doing with us.
   

IN FEAR

We find Devotion

Bhairav is the ultimate destroyer.
The story tells that it was he who beheaded even the creator. Bhairav suffered for it, yes, whereas the creator found liberation.

This night’s ritual follows the narrative of the subtle tale of Bhairav’s journey to the North. It is a subtle tale that encompases the deepest and darkest corners of the soul, not to mention the most destructive aspects.

The story tells that, after Kaal Bhairav beheaded the creator, he could not get free of what he had done. Destruction and creation literally stuck together, as the head of the creator stuck to Bhairav’s hand and rotted putridly for aeons upon aeons. In the end Bhairav finally crossed the invisible line between life and death and traversed the threshold of creation and of destruction.

This story points to an inner reality that is to be meditated on.
Life and time, creation and death, all hold hands in the fear-inducing realm of a Kaal Bhairav.

Within Tantra
the Bhairav ritual & practices
are highly secretive.
They are to be proceeded with caution,
for they arouse
our deepest & darkest
innermost fears.

Raising fear carries a great healing power if one works with the raised material in the landscape of the soul.
The various names of Kaal Bhairava are powerful Mantras that move repressed fears in us.
The freedom of finding and facing repressed fears, frees us from agitation as there is nothing to move away from, this works like a mirror, there is then also nothing to move towards either.
The place of Yogic power comes in this inner constellation.
Drive dies and spirit power takes its place.

The creative spiritual impulse
is not free of death,
for creativity without death
is stagnation.


NORTH

The Direction of the Spirit


Bhairav is the ruler of the North.
North flowing rivers take the spirit out of the body, the dead are placed to the North in Tantric wisdom.
The liberated spirit goes North beyond the grip of the illusions of the astral plane.
Bhairav is the God of Kashi (today renamed ‘Varanasi’), the sacred city of death in the North. The place in India where the Ganga river flows North. It is a region of the astral-plane alike.

Bhairav
is therefore a deep friend,
liberator and protector,
if he is approached in honour.

He holds the Danda, the stick of power he gained after aeons of pondering the dead creator’s head in his hand.
For this Bhairav is called Dandapaani, ‘the one who carries the stick of power’.
It is the magic wand of the Wizard and Witch.
It is the spine that flows with the dance of circuitry in the currents of life and death.
It is the stick within grasp when we study the mysteries of Bhairav.
It is the stick that carries the soul across the portals of life and death.
The stick is called Kankala Danda, literally the ‘skeleton stick’.
The stick of Bhairav gives the protection of courage to go under the surface of skin and flesh, right to the very bone of the matters that weigh most upon us.
Bhairav asks us ‘are we here to live or are we here to die?’

This practice
is a most northward pursuit
in which one works
with one’s death.
It works with
the time one has
…and the time
one does not have.


THE RITUAL

Investigating Death


On the occasion of the yearly Bhairav Jayanti, the Tantric practitioner tunes to the celestial and atmospheric waves of nature and harnesses the flood of the spirit.

The Tantric
comes to know that destruction
is the other hand of creation,
both go together in the cyclic dance
of death & life.
Both destruction & creation
go hand in hand.

In this ritual we might chant his 64 names if we come that far.
By tradition, his Bija mantra is never written, but it will be uttered in this dark night’s ritual.

His mudras are Maha Kaal Asan and Kashi Mudra. These physical movements send the spirit North to the world beyond.

Maha Kaal asan takes a step through the three worlds, it reaches skyward, whilst rooting deeply, and requires the focus of the middle realm that we inhabit. This Mudra teaches us slowly of the walk – called life – we take through the triple realm of our being (which we began to explore last Monday on the first part of this new 4-part series – read about the myth of Shiva destroying the three worlds of illusion on our blog).

The inner and outer Danda mudras are practiced, including the antar Kankala mudra (the inner skeleton practice)…

… a dark practice
of calling upon one’s death,
not suitable for the faint hearted
or the spiritual consumerist
and sensationalist.

Tantra may have become sensationalised as pleasure and spiritual indulgence, easy to buy into in the modern era.
But the old-school rules of Kaal Bhairav are within the timeless laws of pain and pleasure: the two go together.

Under Kaal Bhairav’s  jurisdiction,
the taboo – even unto ourselves –
is approached on the ritual
of his birthday night.

He is Time, he is Death, he is obstinate, tenacious, terrifying and immovable by his laws. He can reveal where we are obstinate, tenacious and immovable to his laws of Time and Death.
He can show us how to die, many may be consumed with the issue of  ‘how to live’, but the tantric equally concerns themselves with ‘how to die’.

He can show us the lessons we are not learning and having to repeat for lifetimes long.
But he demands that we have courage to face our pain as well as our pleasure, for pleasure alone does not fill the cup in his realm.
Just like Shuni (the planet Saturn) that he is, Kaal Bhairav, takes us beyond and far behind the limits of darkness, death and time, he is heavy and slow and gives depth to the soul who dares to meet his gaze, the soul who dares to face themselves in the dark finds a deep friend.

We hope you will choose to join us forthis ritual and
venture together on this journey into one of the darkest
themes in Tantra.


HARA RING  

– Boonath & Kim

DEVA DIWALI

November 28, 2020

& the Myth of Tripurari Purnima

Deva Diwali is the rejoicing in the spiritual world of the awareness of Shiva to cast the arrow of aware vision upon the blind Karmas of both the Matriarch and the Patriarch. These Karmas are revealed by the force of planetary currents upon the astral plane on Deva Diwali.

Deva Diwali is the Diwali of the Spirit World.
Tripurari Purnima is the full moon of Shiva in his form known as Tripurara. 

Tripurantaka is the destroyer of the three worlds. Tripurari (Triparuri are the three worlds) Shiva’s arrow-like vision destroys them.

In the Tantric year, this is the second most important ritual day that is dedicated to Shiva. The main one being the Shivaratri, which translates as the night of Shiva.

Tripurara is a name of Shiva. It means the lord of the three worlds.

Pura signifies a land or a place. The forehead marking upon Shiva is the three lines that denote the three realms.

What are the three worlds and how do they relate to this Full Mooned night?

Svarga, is the spirit world, Patala, is the underworld of the unconscious, and Bhumi, is the earth plane where the two worlds meet.

These worlds are symbolised by 3 terrestrial metals.
Patala is related to the heaviest metal of Iron, The lightest is Silver in the mysterious and unseen lunar world of Svarga, Gold is the weight in between, twice as heavy as silver, it is the metal of the revealed world, illuminated by the golden sun in the daylight, it is the earthly plane of seen things, known in Tantra as the realm of Bhumi

THE ASURA BROS

The story goes that there were three Asuras. These three brothers wished to dominate creation. Collectively they are known as Tripasura, the three.

They had got so powerful by worshiping Shiva and emulating the magical arts of Shiva himself.

Asura is often translated as Demon, this may have very many connotations to call them such. 

The Asuras are spirit beings who are overshadowed by unconscious shadows which lead them in destructive ways. 

The three Asura brothers were the Sons of the mighty demon Tarakasur who represents the destructive side of the sexual chakra. Tarakasur fathered 3 rapscallious sons named Vidyunmaali, Kamalaaksha, and Taarakaaksha.

The father had already met his fate at the hands of Shiva’s son, the world-famous elephant god Ganesha. 

The father was himself a powerful Yogi gone wrong. He had not completed his yogic austerity, but had prematurely gained power by a gamble. The gamble of premature power was given on condition that he could only be killed by Shiva’s son.

Knowing that Shiva was a Yogi far out of reach of the world and of family life, the wicked Tarakasur took the gamble of power. Once drunk on his power, he started to dominate unjustly with his newly acquired and seemingly unstoppable power. 

Little did he know that Shakti was to entice the mighty renunciant Shiva and bear a child with him. And so Tarakasur met his fate as had been ordained.

Vidyunmaali. Kamalaaksha, and Taarakaaksha represent the hidden karmas of the active masculine and passive femmine.

They represent the Moon, the Sun and Shuni (the planet Saturn). Shuni is he who raises Karma and that which has not been seen but must be faced.

The brothers, although devotees of Shiva, bore a grudge in their hearts that their father had not been as great as Shiva and had met his demise on account of Shiva’s son. 

The grudge that the brothers held against Shiva was to poison their hearts and cause their ruin.

The grudge they held represents the unresolved Karma with which they are synonymous.

THE CITIES OF METALS

The Three brothers and their endless magical concentrations and yogic austerities bore results after continued devotion. 

So much so that they won the favour of the creator. They were offered wishes for anything they so desired. 

Now, the 3 yogic brothers were so highly jealous of Shiva, who lived in the uppermost heights upon the sacred mountain, that they wished for their own heights and so wished for flying cities in the sky that would float above the abode of Shiva, 

The three brothers believed that if they elevated themselves higher than the unfathomable heights of Shiva then they would be greater than he.

The first brother asked for his flying city in the sky to be made of gold.
The second brother wished his flying city in the sky to be made of Silver.
The third brother wished for his flying city in the sky to be made of Lead.

The architect Mayasur was the one who built the cities in the sky for the 3 arrogant brothers. Mayasur was the great Architectural King responsible for building the destructive panels of life. It was he who built and gave his name to the legendary hall of illusionary mirrors known as Mayasabha.

The three brothers conspired to align the cities with the weight of the heaviest metal behind. It took a whole year before they could manage to form an exact alignment.

When they finally did, they conspired to ram full blast onto the sacred mountain upon which Shiva eternally meditates. 

They planned to smash the mountain to dust, and along with it, the great Shiva.

And so on the day in question, which falls upon Deva Diwali of the last Full Moon of the darkest part of the year, there is an astral alignment of destructive spiritual forces.

In Tantric science the metal of the Moon is Silver, the metal of the Sun is Gold, and the metal of Shuni (Saturn) is Iron. 

At the first place the three brothers put the silver flying city, in second place they put the golden flying city, and behind they placed the Iron city.

Silver is half the weight of pure gold, so they thought that if the silver should not do the job the gold would, and failing that the iron which is equal in weight to both silver and gold combined would certainly smash the sacred mountain.

Shuni is the planet that raises the deep unconscious imprints and most hidden karmas.

When Saturn is behind the Moon and the Sun, he reveals the hidden shadow sides of these two planets. These are the receptive Lunar and the active Solar shadows we are talking of. The unresolved sides are brought to the surface upon the spiritual plane. This occurs on the night of Deva Diwali and is revealed in sacred ritual.

FASTER THAN TIME

At the moment of exact alignment after a year of trying to synchronise they blasted the mountain at lightning speed.

In terminal velocity they broke through space and time, sound and vision barriers were transgressed.

But the Tripasura had underestimated Shiva, the master of Yog! 

In speed beyond light and thought, Shiva saw what was going on and summoned Vishwakarman, the architect of the universe and of the creative panels of life.

Shiva asked Vishwakarman for an arrow to be built that could destroy the 3 cities. It was done as the very thought was manifesting.

The arrow appeared as instantaneously as the speed of thought and Shiv took aim with his bow, known as Pinakka. The arrow rained fiery flames and torrents of water upon the three cities and pierced the arrogant hearts of the three yogis gone astray.

The cities rose in flames and Shiv danced the Tripura Nasha Tandava upon them, (that is the ‘vision of the three worlds’ dance). These are three distinct yogic dances that relate to Silver (light) Gold (middle) and Iron (heavy). They are danced upon this ritual night.

The blazing 3 worlds seemed to turn to dust and they departed beyond the terrestrial hemisphere and disappeared.

From the ashes of the burned bodies of the brothers, shiva drew three lines upon his forehead, one silver, one gold and one black.

[There are other variants of the story where Shiva only gazed upon the cities and they dissolved. Nasha means gaze. Some of the versions of the story tell of other quite charming details. For example, the great snake Vasuki (that Shiva wears as a necklace), was the bowstring, and the war chariot on which he rode for the task was Bhumi, the earth Goddess, and had the Moon and the Sun as its wheels. The deity of the heart was the arrow.]

Tripurantaka became shiva’s name after he destroyed the 3 cities and the Tripasura (the three demonic brothers).

Tripurara also became Shiva’s name, meaning ‘the lord of the three worlds’.
The forehead markings of Shiva bear significance to this story.

The mountainous home of Shiva is referred to as the stable seat of Shiva, Shivasan.

The story reveals how all of us walk in the balance of our mountain, which can be stirred up, or even ground down by the solar and lunar expressions of unconsciousness.

After marking his forehead victoriously, yet without vanity or display, Shiva returned to his Samadhi but was ever very attentive.

At the exact time each year, by planetary alignment upon the astral plane, the three cities in the sky boomerang back – like an echo etched in the fabric of time and space, they returned and attempted to bombard his sacred mountain meditation once again. The yogic power of the three brothers combined had etched itself into the ethers for infinity. 

Shiva takes a whole year to breath one single breath, and between each breath he is vigilant to cast the arrow and blast the cities back into outer orbit. 

The pause between each inhale and exhale is a place of vigilance and concentration where Shiva remains aware of the shadow of the three metal cities of gold, silver and iron.
That is, the heavy underworld Karmas of the feminine and masculine that Shuni (Saturn) dredges up from the unconscious feminine and the masculine poles.

The lunar and solar poles of Silver and Gold are raised once a year on this junction.

An opportunity is afforded to see into the hidden stories encoded in the inner and outer constellations we are living, unconsciously between the feminine and the masculine. 

Upon this yearly junction the three planets are positioned in such a way that they are pushed by Shuni (Saturn) from the rear, and raise the karma’s latent in the masculine solar (gold) and feminine lunar (silver). 

Saturn is the planet that rules the heaviest terrestrial metal that dwells in both the physical and astral body. 

Shuni is the king of the planets for his ability to cast shadowy unconscious darkness upon all and sundry.

The Deva Diwali is the rejoicing in the spiritual world of the awareness of Shiva to cast the arrow of aware vision upon the blind Karmas of both the Matriarch and the Patriarch. These Karmas are revealed by the force of planetary currents upon the astral plane once a year on Deva Diwali.

Deva Diwali 
A Gupt Puja

The planets are physical and affect us physically, but the planets also have realities in the astral world. This night of Deva Diwali is to be remembered to be based upon movements of the inner astral universe. It is after all the Diwali of the spirit world.

Tantra recognises several unorthodox gupt (hidden) festival days, these are in some ways mirrors of earthly planetary events, the Gupt festivals are times of very subtle inner work. More subtle techniques are applied on the Gupt festival days.

For example, the two navaratri (nine nights of Goddess) are times of physical planetary alignment as ritual in Tantra, they also have their inner equivalent of the Gupt Navaratri where more detailed and subtle techniques are practiced as planets on the astral plane work from the inside out as opposed to the outside in. 

Deva Diwali is a secret and inner Diwali that can not be taken for granted. If we do nothing to attempt to look at the Karmas that are pushing us into actions both passive and active, then there is no lamp lighting, there is no rejoicing and the Inner Deva Diwali is nothing we would know as experience. 

Spiritual lamps take much care, huffs and gusts of impulses and cheap escapist moves can extinguish magic flames in an instant.

The Arrow 
between breaths

In the Tantric pantheon of sacred healing practices, every Moon phase has its corresponding practices and mudras.

Shiva’s breath is his bow (Dhanusha) named Pinakka. 

This bow represents the slowly drawn breath, the pause between the breath is the shot of the arrow.

The latent Karmas that live unseen are found between the breaths. When the pause between the breaths is discovered, then the secrets of Pranayam opens up both body and soul.

The backbend in Yog is the essential of melting, it is independent of strength or force but requires a solid foundation from which to fall with gravity. The secret of opening the back bend is in the discovery of the pause between the breaths. 

Deep Karmas are melted both physically and psychically in the back bend. Back bend is Bolo, the soft one. Bolo is a name of Shiva.

When we are over-active and living by the solar principle over the Moon, the relationships to the feminine fall into death and destruction. The pause between the breaths can appear as an empty and lonely place which must be ventured in, if we are to know the magical secrets of the mountainous home of Shiva. Pharbhati, who is the manifestation of Shakti as Shiva’s Lover, literally means ‘the light of the Mountain’. She is the Rose of Shiva, but he called her the Rose of Shakti (listen to our recorded tale about this Tantric Myth on our YouTube Channel).

This night’s ritual practice is very much about discovering that which we move away from in the pauses between the breaths, that which we move towards hangs together in absolute relation to what we move away from.

That which we do not want to see, conditions that which we see.

The Yogi investigates Woman and Man, the Moon and the Sun, the Night and the Day, the Egg and the Seed.

Shiva’s bow shoots the sacred arrow of water and fire, this is silver and gold, this is the Moon and the Sun, this is the female dark (Rajas) blood, and the male white (Bindu) seed.

JOIN OUR ONLINE RITUALS
CHECK OUT OUR TANTRIC CALENDAR!

Shaadee Ardha Chandra Puja

November 21, 2020

It’s coming like the tidal flood
Beneath the lunar sway
Imperial, mysterious
In amorous array.

L. CohenDemocracy.

Shaadee Ardha Chandra Puja is the ritual of the inner marriage.
Shaadee, means marriage. This is the release of the work of the current Moon phase, which we have been working with – through our weekly online classes – under the spell of the Goddess Kamala.
Not much can or should be said about union and marriage.
If marriage is born of true Love it is the completion of a Yog.
Some marriages are born of elements other than Love.
This is a Moon phase that investigates and reveals the face of Love.

Some marriages
are born of elements
other than Love
– the subject of Sunday’s
Half Moon ritual.

RECAPITULATION

OF THE LUNAR RITUAL MONTH OF LOVE  

A good opportunity is presented to briefly go over the last a Moon phase of Love – irrespective of whether you have taken part in our online gatherings or not. You might have still sensed the subtle influences of these powerful moon stations in various aspects of your life.
It may give a glimpse into the possibilities of Moon Magic.

PURNIMA | 31 October


On the Full Moon, Kamar Purnima, we begun working with the inner Prince energy. Upon this ritual night – in accord with ancient Tantric custom – we took the inner seat of the princess, looking towards the prince on that full Moon night.

In this ritual we worked with the colours of the chakras. Through this practices we investigated the granthis (knots) that obstruct our journey upon the rainbow ladder of the chakras.

The knots and psychic blockades can be revealed to us by concentrated Antar Mudra (inner concentrations).

The Full Moon is the Shakti (power) phase of the Moon. It is a time of bright ritual.

The more Shakti that is generated and stirred up on the Shakti Moon phase, the easier it becomes to then access the deeper hidden layers of our psyche on its opposite station: the Amvasya (Dark Moon) phase.
Amvasya is the bhand (inner) phase that allows us access to the deepest parts of ourselves.

Lets remember that Magic and Ritual follow laws of resonance, reflection and exchange. These are scientific laws of cause and effect, action having its opposite reaction. This be something to ponder upon.

ARDHA CHANDRA | 7 November


The next ritual on the half descending Moon was Thakka Ardha Chandra Puja. Thakka implies the first lovers’ meeting (the meeting of the inner Princess and Prince).
We worked very simply in terms bodily practices in that ritual, with much static asan, storytelling and information about how Ritual and Magic can be approached.

Focus and energy
was placed on inner Mudras,
which are complex
and required much concentration.

We recapitulated every romantic first meeting we encountered in our lives to investigate the extend to which we have come to rely on the familiar landscapes and slogans of contact that structure our unconscious patters.

Such familiar codes of connection are insidious as they close the doorways to broader horizons. Profound concentration and awareness is required in every first encounter if we are to glimpse into new realities and magical avenues of being.

We tested this to the utmost in this Siddha ritual. It’s benefits we then reflected in its opposite Moon phase of the Sukkha Moon (the half ascending lunar phase).

On this night we introduced and started to go into how Moon Magic works, and the great importance, of how magical power ought to be harnessed most effectively and safely when it is aroused.
When one works magically, deeply and in a challenging way upon the Siddha Moon phase (half descending), it opens a door that is reflected back in its opposite at the Sukkha Moon phase (half ascending). It can be translated as a planting and harvesting phase of one’s inner work. A seed is planted and cared for in one phase and the fruits reaped on it’s mirror phase.

AMVASYA | 14 November


On Amvasya, we saw the Dark Moon of Diwali. In this ritual we went briefly into the meaning of why this appears to be the most widely celebrated of all Indian festivals.
Known to the Tantrics as the very Dark Moon, it goes by many names, including Kamala Jayanti, the birth of the Goddess of love, which rules over the current Moon phase and which we are celebrating through these online gatherings.
Diwali is equally the mourning of the loss of the Goddess, for Amvasya meaning the Moonless sky (Dark Moon). It is also known as the night of Kali (for Kali means ‘dark’).
We went into these seeming paradoxes and their relation to the stars through the many tantric myths that tell the story of this major Moon phase (see our blog post) as a way to investigate the true face of the Goddess of Love within us.

The Dark Moon is the Bhand (inner) phase ritual.
It was a sombre reflection back to its Shakti sister of the full Moon. Following magical laws and again working and moving with the resonances of nature’s rhythms.

This was the night
of deep longing,
assisted along by some dynamic
and focused asan,
with particular focus on
the Heart Nadis (energy lines).

The inner mudras were bhand (focussed) on looking for the lost Goddess.
The mythology surrounding Diwali points to this and we talked briefly about how this relates to astro lunar junctions that are presented of this day in the cyclic rhythms of the Moon.

The longing arises from a mysterious place that we attempted to encounter during the practice, learning that the object of longing becoming secondary to the feeling of longing in itself.

NATURES RYTHMS


When we go attentively and map our consciousness and bodily rhythms, we see how the Moon moves us.
We are under the push and pull of lunar currents.
We can make the tides work for the good of our spirit and our lives, if we acknowledge this lunar force of nature. Resisting these currents only leads to suffering.
We might sometimes stand over nature and heed not her magical currents that we are bound to, but the Tantric branch of Moon Work is a step to restoring the flow of the Nature Goddess, first and foremost within our own Hearts.

To find out more about this major lunar cycle within the Tantric Calendar, check out our post on Kamala and Diwali.

And don’t forget to also check out our online classes which coincide with major Tantra festivals and rituals.

Kamala | Goddess of Love

October 27, 2020

If we are to be truly effective
in the meeting of the sacred heart,
immediate concerns must be addressed
& not avoided by going into extraneous involvements.
This is the grounding of desire.
It is a fortifying and nourishing way
towards the fulfilment of Love.

Boonath

This Post is part of a longer series which includes the Diwali festival and the Half-Moon Ritual: Shaadee Ardha Chandra Puja.

This Saturday the Tantric calendar celebrates the Full Moon of October dedicated to the Goddess Kamala. The name Kamala contains the work ‘Kama’, which is central to the Month of October. Kama can be translated as ‘Desire’. We find this word in the title of the well-known Indian manual of Love and Desire, ‘The Kamasutra’ – literally, ‘the verses of desire’.

This is the lunar month of Love & Desire.

Grounding Desire


The month of October ushers us into the second Full and New Moons of the darkening half of the year (31 of October and 14 of November respectively). Two is the number of dualities upon the physical and psychic plane.
The number two is the number of the polarity of Love. This Lunar phase explores the dualities and their meeting in great detail. These dualities are expressed as Kumari and Kumar, they are the inner archetypes of the princess (Kumari) and the prince (Kumar). In this dualist world, Kama (desire) becomes the mysterious urge of Nature to unite between dualities.


The Yogi seeks
the secret of nature’s unification
by stopping to oppose her,
and Tantra is the subtle study
of all the places where we oppose nature
within and without ourselves.


Kamala is the Goddess of Love to whom this Lunar cycle is dedicated. It is Kamala who presides over this lunar month. Kama is the God of Desire, the raw principle of desire. Kama is known for shooting his 7 arrows into the seven chakras and cause infatuation and longing.


Tantric wisdom shows us that
grounded desire is nothing but Love.
This is the secret implicit
in the name of the a Goddess of Love:
Kamala.
To whom this lunar month belongs.


The last Bija mantra ‘La’, in the name of Kamala brings grounding to the desire principle. The La grounds desire – La being the Bija (seed) syllable for the Kunda, that is the pot that houses Kundalini Shakti at the root of our body. It is the very base of our being.


Addiction. Obsession.


Ungrounded desire, on the other hand, becomes restless ambition.
It is represented by the archetypal figure of  The Sick King, full of hot air and hope but no Pyar Shakti (Love Power).
We will come to the king very soon in our narrative here.


Ungrounded Desire/Love turns into
addiction, obsession, co-dependence
born of an inner unfulfilled neediness.


Ungrounded Desire plays out in spending our energies in things that have nothing to do with our immediate situation in life and love. Tantric practice concerns itself with the most immediate feelings of the heart, and the nearest matter at hand, that is the best focus for our resources.


If we are to be truly effective
in the meeting of the sacred heart,
immediate concerns
must be addressed & not avoided
by going into extraneous involvements.
This is the grounding of desire.


To ground our desire becomes a fortifying and nourishing way towards the fulfilment of Love.

Princess & Prince

The need of the inner neediness’ is to ground desire. The unfulfilled hunger at its root seeks ‘the grounding of longing’. This is the concentration of spiritual focus. Tantric science is built upon this concentration of our inner force. By grounding the desire within ourselves, the vessel of the self becomes full and rich with life power. This is known in Tantra as Pyar Shakti which, as stated above, translates as ‘the power of Love’.

Chandra Purnima (Full Moon) arrives on the last day of October. She is also known as Kumar Purnima to Tantrics. Purnima translates as full and total.
So this is the Full Moon of Kumar. Kumar means prince, lover, and also bridegroom. In the orthodox celebration of this day many thousands of maidens in India perform worship, fasting and rituals in the hope of welcoming a beautiful lover into their lives.


The Tantric rite upon this full Moon
has been kept since ancient times
as the secret work with the inner prince.


Remember that Tantrics have very detailed rituals for every Moon phase. By making every Moon a sacred day of honour we open our life to magic.
Our time here on earth is but a few steps between life and death, we might involve our heart and mind in many things at the expense of magic.
The Tantrics adhere strictly to the currency of magic.
The Tantrics take the seat of femininity at the Shaktistan chakra in this full Moon ritual of Love.
Shaktistan, as this chakra is known to the Tantrics, translates as the place of the Goddess. It is the second chakra of creation, the seat of Kama (desire).

Kama is grounded in the chakras within this ritual.

The Tantrics on this ritual night identify with the inner Kumari (princess) and rise to meet the Kumar energy of the prince who dwells in the chakras above.
Like a battery circuitry, Shakti is one pole and Shiva is the other pole.
Kumari is the princess Shakti, and Kumar is the princely Shiva.

Queen & King

Rani and Raja are well known designations of royalty.
A Queen or a King, in the mundane sense, have been given this title in India since time immemorial.
The marriage of the inner Kumar (prince) with the inner Kumari (princess) is the inner yogic unification of the battery-like energies of plus and minus in the circuitry of our inner universe.


The inner marriage results in a circuitry
that unites and heals divisions
between our feminine and masculine parts.
This is then reflected in our outer lives.
Resolving things inside resolves issues without.
This is the wisdom at the heart of Tantra.


The meeting of the inner Kumari (princess) and the inner Kumar (prince) gives birth to the Queen and King.

The innocence of the prince and princess within ourselves, when brought together, create the power of Queen and King.
Princess and Prince are the potentialities that are yet to unite.
The Princess and Prince are not yet united in their power as Queen and King.

VULNERABILITY
The unbirthed potential

We must not necessarily think in fairy-tale terms of man and woman, although this is also implied.
The princess and prince archetype spans across designations of gender.
The macho man has a princess within him. He may reject her, he may oppress her, or then again he may honour her with dignity and grace – whatever his inner contact to his inner princess may be, it will be translated to his dealings with princesses in the outside world.

The sentimental flamboyant one, might praise the princess in his thought and action, he may affirm to himself that he curtseys gracefully at her court, when in actuality, he might be drowning her in stifling garments… too rich and weighty to allow her to move in an innocence of being.

The dealings with princesses in ourselves and others may well be in the romantic sphere, whether in a woman or a man.
Both woman and man may also meet the princess in their dealings with the princesses in their children, associates and animals.


A princess is a subtle energy of maidenhood,
she holds a yet un-birthed potential.
One cannot jump over the princess to the Queen.
To meet the princess takes gentleness and grace.


Many might jump to address the Queen, or princesses may prematurely pose as Queens.
This is the path of pretence and disempowerment, it reflects the deep inner impatience that casts the Kumari into the cold before she has the warming mantle of the Queen.
This has disastrous consequences for all.
The self-care and honesty to face oneself as one is, creates nurturing and growing power.
Time and again, the practices of Tantra, show us how impatience, ambition and force do not serve us.


The woman touches her innocence and youth
by taking the seat of Kumari,
the vulnerable place is the place
or rebirth that her seat presents.
Indeed it is the place of power and healing.


By stepping over the magic of vulnerability, we banish love from our lives and move into the energy of the vain Queen that folk tales the world over mention.
The man humbling himself to take the hand of the princess within his own heart becomes gentle.
Rigidities melt aside in a psychic and physical melting of the wax that we are made of.
Melting in the flame of Love, which Tantra whispers of.
Whether we are man or woman in gender, we are both in the spiritual sense.


The study of this Moon phase
is about looking at the state
of our inner princess & our inner prince.
Kumari and Kumar.


THE SEAT OF POWER

The prince within us all is the grand Kumar.
If he assumes the throne of a king prematurely, he will have dominance made of empty power.
The prince who assumes too early the seat of the king rules in sickness and impotence.
His seat may cause others to tremble but this position drinks from him as he uses power that he has not earned.
He will be impatient and violent, bullying the Kumari within into submission.
Of course, she may obey but the prince who’s not won the heart of his inner princess and earned the king’s boots will lose everything and dry up bitterly without Love.


The Tantric studies such things
and inner constellations of energy,
and brings healing salve
to the wounded princess and prince.


The Tantric codes have much wisdom to impart in regard to the multi-faceted connections and interrelated links between princess & prince, queen & king.
The science of Tantric mudras that pertain the these subjects and positions reveals the inner world of our psychic royal court.

The Indian folk tales and written epics, deal greatly with royal archetypes and their connections, sometimes having very intricate plots that span across different lifetimes and parallel universes.
Romantic love goes through the princess and prince.


This work on the Kumar Purnima ritual
is profoundly healing
for our past, present and future encounters
between the princess and prince,
both in an inner sense, and an outer tangible sense
manifest in our relationships.


On Saturday night we shall gather to practice in the age old Tantric ritual. We will work with and honour the spirit of Love on the October’s Full Moon.


We will practice the royal gestures,
both in an inner and outer sense.
to one’s countenance
They bring grace
comprised of physical & psychic gestures.
These are royal mudras
which lead onto the Raj & Rani Mudras.
the Kumar & Kumari Mudras.


The antar (inner mudras) that we shall work with at this time comprise of what is known in Tantric science as Gupt Mani Karana mudras. This translates as the work with the inner jewels, or the secret of the seven jewels (Saptmani).
Gupt means secret, mani is a jewel, and Karana means to do.


On this sacred ritual night
the tantrics do the doings
of the seven secret inner jewels.


The different jewels relate to different planetary energies, as they vibrate in accordance with planetary vibrations. The jewels have relation to the chakras and we will explore this relation as part of this new four-part series rituals dedicated to Kamala

To find out more about this current Moon Phase, read also our posts about Diwali, the festival of lights, and Shaadee Ardha Chandra Puja

DURGA PUJA

October 21, 2020

Conclusion of the Navaratri Festival

“If we are to connect
to the deep nourishing forces
of femininity and nature within and without
we must open our ear to hear her voice.
The voices of patriarchy
may deafen the tone of her wisdom.
The yogini is one who listens
to her mystical song.”

We are currently in the middle of one of the years most important Tantric celebrations: Navaratri, the 9 nights of the Goddess (see our recent post on our Facebook Page for detailed sharings about each goddess night).
This year Navaratri will culminate on the 26th of October, on its concluding night which is dedicated to the goddess Durga and celebrates the victory of the divine feminine.

Victory over what?
And what is it that opposes the feminine?

These answers are not given out cheaply by the Goddess Durga, but must be investigated with ones Heart, if they are to be earned.
She is the great Ugra Devi (Intense Goddess).
She requires intensity of us if we are to approach her gate.

Tantricly, it is the time of victory, when the Feminine prevails over the patriarch. A hint as to the meaning of the ritual is given by the myth of Mahishasura…

The Legend of Mahishasura


The Legend of Mahishasura is where the story starts.

Mahishasura was a powerful yogi who’s powers went to his even more powerful head.
He became powerful through yogic austerities that gave him the power to call forth Bhrama, the creator. He earned a wish by the power of Siddhi.
Mahishasura demanded power and immortality.

He had earned great power and was initiated to something equally great. But Mahishasura overestimated his power. He assumed a greater height that he actually had.
In his self-satisfaction he was not careful in his wish before the creator.
He proudly proclaimed his wish to the creator that no God, Demon, Ghost, man or animal would be able to ever defeat him. He wished for absolute dominion over all of creation.

His wish was granted!

As the creator parted from Mahishasura,
he said: “watch out for a Woman,
you only said no man!”.

Mahishasura, fumbled for words and wished the wish to be rectified but it was too late to go back.
The creator left with a smirk…

Mahishasura did not believe a woman would ever have the power to defeat him.

He had great siddhi and thought he should not worry about it, and rather get busy in playing the new god to the creation that he believed was now in his hands. 

He swam in the sea of self-aggrandisement and got busy in oppressing the beings of the three worlds to satisfy his will. 

The three Worlds are known collectively as Triloka. They are the three worlds of the under, upper and the earth between them.

Mahishasura’s desires were perverse.

The once upon a time most dignified gods were now abjectly oppressed to do his instant bidding. Because of the blessing of the creator Brahma, Mahishasura was unstoppable.
The Gods surrendered and Mahishasura’s hideous guttural laughter could be heard echoing through the three worlds.

The Gods approached Shiva the destroyer who did not wish to be disturbed from his meditation. 
Shiva’s samadhi kept the 3 worlds in order, and he didn’t feel compelled to do anything. They continued to agitate him until he opened his third eye for a second and said: “my wife will sort it out.”

Man and woman alike had been oppressed and made subservient to Mahishasura’s perverse rein of patriarchy. Cruelty and the rape of nature ensued, humans became drones to the mantras that he commanded them to recite.

Mahishasura enjoyed rapturous pleasure and did not keep to his Yog austerities and practices anymore. He grew pleasantly fat with a perpetual soft smile upon his cheeks. Shiva telepathically from his mountain heights asked his wife to go and look into the situation. She set off to meet Mahishasura.

When the beautiful daughter of the mountain king arrived in her innocent apparel, the great Mahishasura had no idea of the extent of her feminine power.

He invited the beauty to drink wine, he had only one thought on his mind that he believed could be accomplished with a click of his fingers.

He thought to himself, why not relax from all this oppressing and terrorising for a moment, and play a game of cat and mouse for a bit?
He thought he was the cat. 
But soon he would learn who really commanded the game…

As he made his advance, he was thrown back with extreme force, his golden goblet dribbled it’s wine like scattered essence.

Never in his life had he been moved by anyone.
He advanced again with more ferocity.

This woman was a match!

Mahishasuras was a shape shifting yogi, and so he shifted through numerous forms to try and subdue to Goddess. The Goddess simply moved with him, matching every move.
He became a Giant, and the Devi became a vast Ugra Devi. He changed from animal to ghost in order to subdue her, but nothing worked!
He tried all the tricks he knew, even appearing as Sundernath, the beautiful form of her husband, nothing could get past this woman!
He tried the old trick of multiplication… as drops of his blood flew around he became many from each droplet. Still, nothing worked.

The great Mahishasura was impressed by such a woman, her power awakened deep perversity in him, he wished to conquer her with his manhood.

He saved his main trick till last, the trick of tricks that could never fail.

Mahishasura, it is to be remembered, derives his name from Buffalo, a creature of huge weight.
Mahish means buffalo and Asura means perverse.
In full blooded arousal he charged to mount the goddess who’s sari had fallen for an instant. 

In the air he changed form from man to buffalo.  Alas, the Trishul (trident) studently appeared from beneath the silken folds of Durga’s sari, bursting Mahishasura’s heart. 

He gazed at her as he took his last breath, bewildered by the fat that a woman had defeated him.

He had not even had the change to shapeshift fully. His naked body splayed over the floor, only his head had turned to that of a Buffalo, his tongue rolled out of his mouth and lopped to the side. The Lion upon which Durga rode, sunk his fangs in, just to be sure!

FEMININE TRIUMPH OVER PATRIARCHY


Durga is the most Ugra of all forms.
When she is angry, all the Urga Devi’s shoot from her third eye.
She is Mother of the World.
She is at once nature and protector of nature.
She is a favourite to the Yogins.
Ambarani is the name of Durga as Queen of all the 3 worlds.

The trident that pierced Mahishasuras heart struck his being in all 3 levels, till not a trace of his oppression over the feminine remained. 

The Goddess festival is concluded upon the defeat of the patriarch by the feminine.
The 9 nights of Navratri reach their climax on this night.
The feminine is victorious.
This Tantric teaching story has many connotations upon which to mediate.
Each Navaratri night has built up to strengthen the feminine principle (see our facebook page for a daily post featuring wirtings about each of the goddesses).

The star forces are there to absorb by those who have quieted the other forces that oppress the voice of the Goddess.
The Goddess who keeps the heartless patriarch in his place is both an inner watcher and an outer necessity in our lives.


DURGA PUJA


If we are to connect to the deep nourishing forces of femininity and nature within and without we must open our ear to hear her voice.

The voices of patriarchy
may deafen the tone of feminine wisdom.
The yogini is one who listens
to her mystical song.

Upon this night of Tantric ritual the age old circle practitioners meet to work with and to celebrate the feminine power.
The Tantrics have kept this ritual alive for aeons.
Through patriarchal rule of missionary religions, through the British and other male oriented  empires upon the soil of the mystical culture, the Tantra has never been lost, it has lived on secretly on the outskirts and in the shadows.

The sacred feminine ritual of the Mother of all worlds.

Tantrics practice the Mudras and Mantras of Durga.
The Ugra mantras translate as the terrible sounds.
They are part of the Gupt (hidden) practices.

They are techniques that create sound
while subtlety choking the throat
through an inner contraction.
They produce fear and passion simultaneously
in the practitioner and raise inner substance
to work Tantricly with.

They raise the Prana and create great heat in the system.
A heat that feeds Kundalini with one’s Shakti, if it is concentrated.
The Maage mudras of the Buffalo and Sheer mudras of the Lion comprise a great part of this ritual.
Above all, it is a ritual of working with, empowering and celebrating the feminine power.

GURU PURNIMA

June 29, 2020

“Guru Purnima
is a sacred night in the Tantric calendar
of giving honour
to the teachers and the elders
who guide us on the path of wisdom.”

– Boonath

The Full Moon of July is known to the Tantrics as Guru Purnima, ‘The Celebration of the Teacher’, and it has been reserved since aeons to give honour not only to the personalities of one’s teachers, but also to the principle of devotion and effort that the teacher represents.

The Guru is the inner quality that we all possess. The quality of attention to detail and unwavering voyage into the depths of a single subject.

This effort to surpass oneself and attain the hights of wisdoms is said to come from the Guru Tatva.
Tatva can be translated as ‘element’.
The Guru Tatva implies ‘weight’ and ‘heaviness’.
The word Guru is often defined in various ways according to modern custom, but the root of the Sanskrit word means ‘ heavy’, whereas the word denoting the aspirant means ‘light’.

A great weight is required to ground wisdom.

To follow the austerity to accomplish any profound skill in a single subject takes weight, and so the Guru represents a weighted immovable force that stands above all for the subject that is represented.
The element of devotion exists within all as the Guru Tatva.
This is the element that drives us to achieve successes and overcome obstacles, but the Guru Tatva is more than just this.
The true essence of the Guru Tatva is a one pointed focus on a branch of wisdom.
A wisdom that stands outside of rewards of personal satisfaction and a learning and devotion which differs from the drives of sentimental ambition. 

The Guru Tatva aligns the human instrument to very subtle layers of reality.

The art of the Guru is often learned and devoted to from early childhood, passed down the ages in unbroken lines.
Our society may give credit to all manner of attainments and skills. The contemporary development of contest shows and a culture of awards to actors and musicians may make it seem like a common place thing to honour those within developed ranges of skill.
The difference being that the Guru represents someone who passes on a line of teaching and has as their main interest the passing on of the wisdom and the development of the students art.
This is quite a difference of focus to taking credit for or indulging in praise at the accomplishment.

In India it is said that a true Guru lives for his student, which defines his role as teacher.


THE MYTH

Shiva is known as the Adi Guru and is legendarily revered as the first Guru. Adi meaning ‘first’ or ‘origin’.
He had been absorbed in Samadhi for unknown ages and was discovered in a small Himalayan cave by 7 Seekers of Truth.
When they approached Shiva he roused from the trance to be asked what he was doing. He replied he was listening and watching and then he went back into his meditation.
84 years passed until Shiva roused once more only to find himself in the company of the 7 seekers of truth who had been there all along attempting to imitate Shiva.
He was pleased at their effort and granted them the secrets of Yog.

The seven seekers became the Sapt (7) Rishis of legend who are said to have spread the yogic arts and inspired the scriptures. The seven Rishis are reflected in the seven stars of the Big Dipper constellation and are activated by the full Moon of July.

It is the drive of the Guru Tatva within us than urges the 7 stars of the chakras to balance within us through the yogic art of listening and watching. The overseeing Guru Tatva is brought to its full power on this Moon Phase and provides the opportunity to develop the gift of devotion.
The Guru Moon has passed the halfway mark in the lunar year to shower it’s Moonlit gifts upon us. A gift that is at once saturated in sweetness and also a certain ruthlessness that is required to delve into the twilight regions of wisdoms constellation.

Esoterically the Sapt Rishis represent the 7 chakras within us.
The 84 years refer to the 8.4 million different forms of life that are said to exist in Indian philosophical thought.

The myth reveals how the Rishis who represent the 7 chakras came to know all levels of existence through the art of listening and watching that was imparted to them by the Adi Guru Shiva.
In the same way the 7 chakras within is come to know of the vastness of existence when we take up the art of listening and watching.

UTTARA ASHADA


The festival of Guru Purnima takes place annually in the Star constellation of Uttara-Ashada. The Nakshatra (lunar house) of Uttara-Ashada gives the teaching of enduring focus.

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 truth at the foundation of being.

Guru Purnima is an age old festival that honours the Guru – the festival occurs when the Full Moon is in Uttara-Ashada. 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-Ashada wishes to show us. Uttara-Ashada is the very opposite of light dispersing action. 

Guru is an adjective that means heavy, just like the Elephant energy that is the prominent earthly expression of his Nakshatra. Just like the weight of memory possessed by an Elephant. Uttara-Ashada gives power to memory and reminds us of the heavy foundations at the roots of being.

The Guru is an elder, Guru Wisdom is the elder base of Wisdom. It is grounded power and maturity. We live in a culture where the elders themselves perhaps do not strive to be elders but rather to emulate the tones of youth.

A mass cultural fabric that does not honour the heavy weighted wisdom of age may indeed be a culture that banishes the Guru altogether. The much needed weight of mature vision is something that is needed in all branches of life and is not exclusive to Tantra. 

Politics, technology, agriculture and both secular and spiritual life are places where the Foundation of being is as much needed as in any branch of life. When we banish the roots of being, the fruit fails.

THE ELDER VISION


The Guru is a reminder that the fruit and the root belong together. The Northern node of the Moon is known as Rahu and the Southern Lunar mode is known as Ketu.

The Ancient stories of India mythologize that they were once a single being. The cut that divided them turned them into head and tale, regarded as inauspicious energies, they have much to teach us about the nature of Wisdom and the lunar opposites.

Rahu is the head that consumes all and anything without any regard, it is never satisfied and it does not discriminate between the quality of the quantity that it takes in. Of course the consequences are registered by Ketu the tail.

Neither are inauspicious energies when we learn the maturity of adequate intake. When adequate intake is a hallmark of our lives then the reception at the tail end of lunar influence is another matter than bearing the consequences of indiscriminate consumption. The consumption of ideas, of beliefs, of principles and of course of food, all follow the laws and consequences of nutrition. 

The real elder vision does not seek to emulate any pervasive cultural ideas, the elder vision does not strive for expressions imbued with the power of youth and ideology.

The elder vision is the vision that unifies the North and the South once more after having learned of the consequences of having separated cause and effect – or consumption and consequence. This is the lesson that brings Rahu and Ketu into a unified and whole being. They had to be parted to learn the lessons of the laws of consequences, this is the law of Karma in action – written and reflected in the stars.

How do we unify these forces? By slowing down the vision to an ‘Elder Perspective’ that through the viewing of the passage of time, pauses to look at what we are doing and creating. Tantric ritual is an attempt to move to the elder mature vision and not stay only in the leaps and springs of youth.

The leaps and springs of youth have their necessity and power, but when they endure as a measure of being for too long, they outstay their use – then the elder vision is lost and maturity can not ripen in the garden of the soul.

THE RITUAL


This will be the mood with which we will approach the practice on the Guru Purnima Full Moon ritual. Upon the Full Moon of July we come to the time honoured tradition of Guru Purnima.
Upon this day the astral forces are strong for setting the Guru Tatva within us into motion. It is a day for remembering the elders and those that have given to us the gifts and fruits of their labours.

If you would like to join our online ritual…

CLICK HERE

If you would like to know more about the ways in which Tantrics honour their teachers, read our dedicated Blog.

THE MYTH OF KAMAKHYA

June 28, 2020

A TALE OF HONOURING
THE FEMININE

This will be a three day ritual initiation,
A rite of passage from the equinox
moving into nature’s introversion
We will ritualsticly
honour the mensturation of the Goddess
For three nights
We will work with the very fuel
of the Tantric journey, that is: Desire.
The unconscious bindings
are mirrored in the physical and psychic worlds,
by the object of desire
Kamakhya is the Goddess of desire
She is at the essence of all desires
Those who seek the Goddess,
undertake Tantric pilgrimage
across landscapes both inner and outer
to receive the blessing of Kamakhya
.”

– Boonath

The story of Kamakhya goes that there was once a king who worshiped the Goddess Adiparashakti. She represents the originalpure feminine essence. Adi means origin, Para means beyond, and Shakti means Goddess or power.

 

By his yogic austerity the king was able to call forth the Goddess who granted him a wish. He wished that she would take birth in human form as his own daughter.
Adiparashakti agreed to this on the condition that she be honoured in whatever she did. She said that if she were ever insulted by him then she would take up her spiritual form and abandon him.

This symbolism reveals how the Feminine must be honoured and allowed her freedom if she is to give her blessing and being, and if she ever be dishonoured then she no longer can exist, it shows how the Feminine must stand for itself and can only give her presence where it is received in its entirety.

The Tantric quest is the seeking to nurture the ground, so that it’s a fertile place for Shakti to grow and bloom.
The birth of Adipatashakti on earth represents the manifestation of the feminine on the earth plane. In time the daughter was born and named Sati. Being the manifestation of the Goddess she sought union with a God and she only found this manifest in one rare man. This man was Shiva, who was her equal opposite

However Shiva was ascetic, reclusive and remote. He was too austere and beyond any interest in human affairs.

Adiparashakti had come down from the spiritual world to the human manifest level, Shiva stood in the human world but travelled far beyond into the spiritual dimensions. They were opposite poles..

Nothing that Sati could do would grab Shiva’s attention.
Shiva lived in the mountains, occupying a small cave from where he was transported to the realms beyond the human during his states of Samadhi.
As a human Shiva was cold and disinterested, but Sati had as her mission to bring the masculine divine quality to earth to join her in the dance of Shakti and Shiva.
And indeed the Tandav dance did begin through her efforts to unite, as we shall soon see.
Once Sati entered Shiva’s cave with her full femininity on display, but the austere sage did not shift from his concentration.

Shiva’s Yog was so concentrated that he was far away from human sentiments.

Sati hatched a plan and summoned Kama, the raw force (and god) of Desire.
Kama swept into the cave, certain to arouse the interest and passion of the ascetic Shiva.
Usually the mere fragrance exuded by Kama would be sufficient to arouse desire in the most ardent ascetic, but Shiva was so far beyond the human, he perpetually dwelt in Adiparaparush (the great soul beyond). So Kama resorted to his sugarcane bow and magical arrows and shot Shiva with five of them.

Kama’s arrows represent the desire of the 5 terrestrial Chakras of the body. The upper two centres in the head are the abode of Shiva and are portals beyond the terrestrial world. Each of the 5 bodily arrows is represented a flower.

The first arrow that Kama shot Shiva with was a Lotus and represents the Base Chakra. Having struck Shiva in the Mooladar Chakra it had no effect.
The second arrow was the Asoka flower, the tree of which is sacred to Kamakhya. It is a fragrance connected to the second chakra, the Shaktistan Chakra, and Kama shot the arrow straight in Shiva’s lingam, but again it had no effect.
The third flower was a Mango flower, representing the desire of the Solar Plexus. Yet shooting Shiva in the Manipurchakra did nothing to awaken Shiva from his Samhadi.
Next Kama shot the Jasmine flower straight into the Heart Chakra, which again caused not any reaction in Shiva.
Kama drew out the Blue Lotus flower and aimed it at Shiva’s throat. The Blue Lotus had never failed to arouse desires, but it failed on Shiva.
Having failed for the first time ever, Kama’s two wives stepped up to the task. Rati and Priti, each one representing pleasure and longing.
Caressing Shivas half naked body Rati was surprised she could not get a reaction out of the ascetic yogi. So Priti stepped forward and put the palm of her left hand across Shivas heart.
The longing found its way into Shiva’s Heart Chakra.

In the space between the beats the longing entered inside Shiva’s heart.

This brought Shiva out of his Samadhi for a short moment, during which he opened his third eye and cast a burning gaze upon Kama, burning him to a crisp in flames of rage, and reducing him to ashes.

Kama (desire) was no more and creation was in peril, yet Shiva refused to concern himself with such matters.
Sati wept tears, believing she would never know union, and wandered why she had ever come down to the manifested plane from her Adiparashakti form.

Shiva proved cold as ice in the Himalayan abode upon his seat of snow. Yet, as he heard the tears of Adiparashakti (the essence of woman beyond the visible) he began to melt from his immovable Samadhi and the Adiparaparush awoke on the earth plane to find Union with Adiparashakti.

The meeting and union of opposites is finally expressed and all was brought to fulfilment.
Sati implored Shiva to restore Kama to life for the longing without desire is the deepest form of sorrow: the state of Pardesi meaning the ultimate lostness.
Shiva promises it to be done and in due course and it is.
But first he must suffer the curse of Pardesi himself, as we shall soon see.
The one who longs with no object of desire.

Pardesi Asan. Screenshot from one of our online practices

There are various ways the story can be told, but the basic detail is that Sati brought Shiva to her father who could not accept this wild untamed creature who stood outside of royal convention – a yogi half naked with matted hair and a mysterious unfathomable aura that intimidated the King. 

A fight ensued and Sati felt deeply insulted by her father who became possessed by anger and broke the promise of honouring his daughter.

True to her promise of staying only if honoured, Adiparashakti departed and left her physical form. The body of Sati fell to the flames and into the ritual fire that was meant to mark the divine marriage.

As the Goddess departed she cursed the fire and the masculine element of light to never be able to show the way alone. She returned to the original void that is the dark womb of the Goddess from whence she came.

This curse reveals how the masculine fire element should not burn so bright as to make the Feminine invisible or incinerated.
Interestingly, the chief mode of worship amongst the Male lineages in orthodox Indian religion has been the ritual fire. For the Tantrics, orthodox convention means very little and many orthodox taboos are traversed in giving honour and balance to the Feminine within Tantric lines.

The story could end there but the longing of Shiva had been aroused and he became maddened by the events. He took Sati’s burned body and wouldn’t let go of it. He becomes a lost wanderer roaming in longing endlessly. Full longing with no place for his desire, Shiva went half mad with rage and begun the dance of Tandav.

The Dance of Tandav, comprises 108 yogic moves that when put together become a dance. They are very vigorous dynamic moves practiced carefully and secretly by tantrics.

Rudra is the howling, raging form of Shiva. the Rudra Tandav is a Hatha Yog practice that brings latent subconscious anger into motion. Tantrics dance it at the time of Kamakhya Puja.

Shiva’s rage was so great it left his body as he tore out his jatta (matted hair) from whence two fierce forms rose and wreaked further destruction: Bhadra Kali and Veer Bhadra. These represent  ‘rage’ and ‘pain’ so deep that they tear the soul apart. Together they form the male and female destructive forces known as Manobadra. They are the pinnacle of destructive polarities within the soul.

When the situation goes so far as to bring Manobadra forth, there is little hope for balance, for they both seek the Mana Pralaya, which means the utter annihilation and dissolution of life.

Veera Bhadra sliced off the head of Sati’s father and Bhadra Kali sunkher teeth into it and consumed it with several crunches.

The gaze of the Manobhadra fell on the body and caused the headless father to run amok in the worst state of suffering a soul can ever know.

Shiva danced so long that he became Bhairav, his most terrifying form. The dance of destruction was near to consuming all of creation and there seemed to be no way back.

The rotting body of Sati was flung around the mountains, parts of it falling on 108 places. These 108 places are the Shakti Peeths where there temples of the Goddess can now be found.

Orthodox tradition recognises only 51 of these temples, but the Tantrics know of the lesser known ones which compromise 108 in all. They are places of power that relate to points of magnetism on the earth plane. One can experience profundities by simply being there.

Some of the Shakti Peeths are dangerous to go to if unprepared, as the magnetism and energy there can overstimulate the system. The spirits at these places can be very strong and require ritual to prepare for or the guidance of a siddha.

Hence the secrecy surrounding many of these temples. 

The main Kamakhya Tempe is a Shakti Peeth, where the Yoni and womb of the Goddess Sati landed as Shiva danced the Tandava.

The Kamakhya Tempe closes its doors with the first days of the darkening halfbof the year and honours the Feminine rhythm of nature.

It closes for the three days in a year that are the bleeding of Kamakhya. This is the menstruation of nature after the longest day of solstice bleeds into darkening nights, the lengthening nights become the menstrual flow of nature. The temple is in the hands of priests as the orthodox religion is high class and male driven

Tantric legend says that one day it will go to the hands of women shamans and be reversed so as to open in the night time hours instead of the day.

The temple seems small but it is very deep and extends far underground with many secret chambers. Little is known about this side of the temple and those priests who work rituals there are able to obtain siddhi (powers) such as to extend the life beyond the standard measure as the influx of energy is profound in the temple.

There is a stone yoni upon which a natural spring pours.

It is said that the water turns to blood at the time of the menstruation of the Kamakhya festival.

The river surrounding the temple known as the Brahmaputra river magically turns red for the three days that the temple is closed. It is said to be the menses of Kamakhya.

And so the Story continues, Shiva’s Tandav was so extreme that it broke the boundaries of the physical world and tore the fabric of reality, taking its destructive hunger into the spiritual worlds. Shiva was burning and becoming himself the accursed fire. His suffering and rage were beyond measure. As the dance continued for endless ages the headless father in his torture pleaded to Adiparashakti for her mercy for breaking his oath as a father. His suffering was so great but he could not even scream it out.
Adiparashakti watched from beyond the veils. She still longed for Union as it was in her nature, being the force of nature, that she was. She therefore took birth once again as Pharbhati, the daughter and sacred light of the mountains, and in the coldest regions she prayed intensely that she could ground the full Adiparashakti force upon the Earth-plane.

Fearlessly she went to the crazed Shiva and sat upon his lingam and in her ice coldness she appeased the fire of suffering. The story then found completion as the polarities between and beyond the manifest, unified in all ways.
Kama was brought back to life as Shiva had promised. Desire and longing united and healed the soul. Some even say the headless father was redheaded. Others say he can still be seen running amok and headless.

Through the Union of Shiva and Adiparashakti, order was restored. 

The Manobhadra melted away as Love grew. 
The Garden bloomed once more with magical flowers.

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