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Ganesh Chaturthi

August 11, 2020

Om Shreem Hreem Hring Ring
Glaum Gum Bum
Ganapathiyay Namaha

When Ganesh is pleased he raises his trunk and flaps his ears.

This tantric phrase referring to Ganesh holds much symbolism as to Ganesh’s significance.

He is the Elephant God of the base chakra.

The trunk raising is indicative of Kundalini Shakti rising up when the base chakra energy is nourished and grounded. 

When stray psychic energies are concentrated and given solid form and life they then become sweet nourishment to Elephant who will raise the accumulated power that has been brought home, this he does with a move of his trunk.

Ganesh the Elephant headed God is a favourite amongst the Indian Gods and possibly the widest known of all the Indian deities outside of India.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the 4th day of the New Moon of August. Chaturthi means fourth and refers to the 4th day following a New Moon or Full Moon.

This is the grand Ganesh Moon.

In Tantric cosmology this Moon day is said to be amongst the most psychically destabilizing days and hence the Elephant ritual is a practice that fills the polar opposite of instability by its stability. It is a ritual of grounding and weight that has greatly stabilizing effects. Such ritual practices have been kept preciously by Tantrics and involve many careful formulas for working with focussed energy. Orthodox rites have this day as a very dramatically festive time with much public and private home measures of worship.

The Chaturthi each month is the 4th lunar day and is a Moon phase marked by instability and dwindling power. The Moon energy of the Full and New Moon is potent for the first 3 nights and then on the 4th day its effects starts to subside.

This subsiding corresponds to a subsiding of psychic tension/magnetism within us that is pronounced and potent at the extremes of the New and Full lunar expressions. The subsiding of inner psychic magnetism brings with is a state of psychic instability and uncertainty, hence the solidity of the Elephant energy is invoked on the Chaturthi days.

This is the 4th lunar day each month, where Tantrics invoke the energy of the elephant through internal and external mudras. 

Tantricly and most practically calling  upon solidity and stability within the destabilizing lunar effects of the 4th day. By looking for and finding the elephant within the unbalance of the psychic nature is to go to the eye of the storm where there is a place of safe and solid ground amidst the moving swirl of effects.

Ganesh the keeper of 4


Ganesh is the Elephant God who guards the Mooladhar Chakra. 

This is the Earth Chakra lotus that has 4 petals of 4 syllables along with a central root or Bija (seed) mantra from which the 4 syllables originate. 

The utterance of these syllables awaken the physical and psychic sensitivities of this chakra. The physical elephant mudras require slow strength and steady endurance to perform. 

When practicing with the elephant energy, one replicates the qualities of the creature. The inner mudras are characterized by weight and heavy focus and have as their outcome a grounding and maturing of psychic energy.

The 4 petals of the Mooladhar chakra are 4 sounds that govern the 4 most physical elements: Earth, water, fire and air. 

Working with the Ganesh ruled elephant practices brings stability to the foundations of our primary elements and this will be the focus of our online tantric ritual on the 22nd of August, practicing the secret inner and outer mudras and the 4 sacred mantras. 

The slow, strong steady countenance of an elephant is something held in high reverence and esteem amongst the tantrics.

In the field and cultural fabric within which we live and die, many may be the doings so easily and lightly driven by haste and baseless expressions. 

The Elephant is a much needed spirit creature within our being. 

The steady current of the elephant stands strong in superficialities and is a power to back up every step of our being with a weight of earthly wisdom.

A steady rhythmical step by which the elephant proceeds.

The elephant is the only 4 legged creature that has 4 forward bending knees. The 4 sided yantra of the square is a representation and signification of the base chakra. The square is a pictorial character of equality, formed by the balance of the 4 elements.

10 days of the Elephant


Ganesh Chaturthi is a ritual festival where an earthen statue of Ganesh, or of an elephant is made. Publicly this statue is worshiped and paraded until the 10th day it is submerged in water.

Earth returning to water holds much significance in this rite.

All over India there are tens of thousands of statues of Ganesh offered to the waters at the conclusion of this festival. Some of these statues are of gigantic proportions and luminously coloured and affixed to vehicles as they are paraded proudly towards their watery rebirth.

Tantrics rites of ritual create an earthen form of an elephant with earth and water from ones locality. The elephant form is placed upon a metal base to spread electrical magnetism and then meditated upon and infused with one’s magnetism that one in turn relates to the base chakra through concentrated focus. 

It is focused upon intensively for the 10 days until the full Moon.

This invoking life into statue or representation of a deity or principle is known as Pran Pratishtha and is done in formal orthodox rites of setting up statues in temples.

Tantric formulas work in similar ways through imbuing life and energy into statues for specific inner work and healing measures. This form of concentration upon the statue of Ganesh has as its focus the bringing up of one’s base chakra themes so they can come up to be viewed and worked with. By such methods one may get a view of karmic obstacles of Mooladhar chakra to be healed.

The invocation of this elephant energy is most powerful upon this yearly junction of Ganesh Chaturthi as astral elements are in favour of supporting the Elephant energy ritual.

It is the peak of fire as the Hot season has touched its pinnacle, the opposite element of air is brought forward by fire, the Monsoon of water and humidity at large at this time brings forth its opposite of the earth element. In this way the physical elements are at their peak of stimulation, which in turn activate the subtle reflections of these elements within the base chakra.

10 days following Ganesh Chaturthi takes one to the full Moon. The earthen statue is then offered into water such as a river by Tantrics.

The Tantrics take this as a meditation of releasing blocked or locked shakti to enter to the worlds above in the chakras beyond the base; beginning with the second chakra of Shaktistan.

This offering of the earth statue to the water is a movement that represents the opening of the granthi’s (psycho/physical knots) of the base chakra and the subsequent release of Shakti to the ascent towards the second chakra which is the sexual chakra, which is connected to the water element.

This outer way of working hints at the inner mudras that relate to the elephant. 

These mudras are known as Gaja Karana (doing of elephant) and are Mudras that are exercised at this favourable time in order to assist the dissolving of ones earthy knots and karma’s.

Ganesh protector of the Mother
and Home


The story of Ganesh tells how he was the son of Shakti and Shiva.

His mother wanted to take a bath but could not find the peace to enter into union with the water element, many disturbing demands came upon her until she finally asked Ganesh to stand guard at the entrance to the home, which he proudly did, refusing any admittance that came their way.

Ganesh’s father Shiva had the habit of disappearing for long periods of time and retreating to the mountains where he would be undisturbed. 

In deep solitude Shiva would pursue deep travels into the inner spiritual worlds.

The season was at its hottest and the outer fire of the earth’s atmosphere had aroused the inner fire of Shiva.

The rains of the time had brought the fire down to the watery second chakra and further reached Shiva’s passion. 

Passion and determination brought Shiva down from the mountain and he found himself wandering home to his Wife.

When he reached the house, he found a young child standing guard who would not let him enter.

Ganesh had been born in his absence and neither had knowledge of each other. Shiva pushed him aside but Ganesh would not relent. 

A vicious slap from Shiva decapitated the boy, sending the head flying into worlds beyond terrestrial reach. 

Without the slightest care for what he had just done, Shiva entered into the watery chamber where his wife bathed naked in milky jasmine and rose scented waters.

‘’How did you enter within” she asked of him. ‘Our son should have let no one in”

Shiva realised then what he had just done and his heated passion and one pointed determination started to give way to lament.

The Shiva power from above may carry the fire down to the water-element ruled Sexual chakra of Shaktistan (literally place of the Goddess) but without the inclusion of the Earth element, the fire poses an unwelcome risk to the watery Goddess of the second Chakra.

The milky bath water started to turn red as the blood of the child poured gradually in.

Distraught wails of the mother resounded through the ethers.

Shiva said, ”By the power of Kechari Mudra, I say that the first living being to come this way shall offer life to our son.”

It was a baby elephant that wandered to their home and offered life to the decapitated child’s body, and so Ganesh received the head of the elephant for which he gets the name Gajanan, the elephant faced one.

The elephant has an unparalleled memory that took note of the offence, hence Ganesh is often portrayed as the great record keeper with pen in hand.

The Tantric language of Moon time


In this story the detailing of Ganesh as the protector of the Mother is a significant detail. 

The New Moon just 4 days previous to this day of Ganesh’s elephant birth was celebrated as Pithori Amvasya or Mata Puja as it’s known in Tantric ritual – This is the Mothers Moon that brings the mother energy to the solar plexus chakra known as Manipur.

Pithori refers to flour and edible sustenance which is the physical sustenance to the body through the stomach at the level of the fire-ruled Manipur chakra.

If we trace it further back to the previous Full Moon, we find the horse Moon which represents the Air element and the Annahatt heart and its touch upon throat Chakra. The Pran of the heart chakra connects to and is converted into and creates the element of Akash (space) at the Vishudd chakra at the throat.

And previous to the Horse Moon was the Soma Moon (see previous blog) which connects to the upper chakras and to the most subtle ultra-terrestrial element.

When we see the pattern of how the chakras have worked along all the way down through their respective elements we can see that the ritual days have brought the movement down to the Base and second chakra at this junction. 

Water and Earth are implicit in this most tangible junction of manifestation to the previous preceding elements.

The energy has come through the chakric line… down from the subtle element of soma through space, air, fire and water to now meet Ganesh at the base of Earth.

21 leaves and 21 sweets and 21 mantras.
The sum of 7 x 3


That the subconscious mind is accessed by symbols and emotion has been known to Tantrics for aeons. Much of the tantric work is to access the out of sight granthis (knots) and karmas that affect the foundation of one’s being.

Tantric work partakes of much more than blind ritual of tradition, but has a very clear focus upon the symbol being worked with and what it represents within oneself. 

The Bhar (outer) mudra is recognized and focused on with its corresponding Anthar (inner) mudra. Whether this focus is on asana and inner meditation or upon ritual offerings and gestures. 

Tantra is a very focused and practical undertaking – it focuses and ‘practicalizes’ subtle energies through symbolic concentrations on intangible or far away realities so they can be brought closer within tangible range.

Focus requires the inner fire of Tejas and at the same time focus stokes this fire, the steadiness of the flame of Tejas is dependent upon our usage or wastage of our Pran (breath). 

When Tejas is nurtured and cared for then Tantra becomes powerful. 

Tejas builds Soma and in turn manifests as Ojas in a more embodied and tangible level of being. 

Tantra shows and teaches subtle care experientially by its very methods of practice. It shows us areas where we do not take care of the subtle elements, without the subtle care Tantra cannot begin.

It is said that Ganesh is very fond of eating sweets. He is often pictured with a tray of Indian delicacies. 

Modhak sweets are a coconut filled dumplings and in many regions of India are said to be the favourite of Ganesh. He is sometimes called Modhakapriya for this reason, which means ‘the one who loves to eat Modhak’.

The form of a modhak is like a small conical mountain and represents the weight and solidity of the Mountain. The form of Ganesh also represents a mountainous conical shape that spells out solidity and earthed power.

21 sweets are offered to Ganesh in many forms of Ganesh puja (ritual). 21 is a number sacred to Ganesh for several reasons as we shall see.

Ganesh represents the mountainous base and foundation of all the chakras, for this he is known as Chakravatin.

There are 7 major chakras in the body that physically are connected to the 7 major endocrine glands that create and distribute hormones. When there are said to be 8 major glands one must note that the male and female reproductive glands are both included in the list, and except in the rare cases of physical hermaphrodites, there are 7 predominant with a man or woman.

These hormones of the glandular system condition our physicality to a great extent. The suppression or increase of a single hormonal substance can radically alter our bodily health and chemistry and also our consciousness.

By working with conscious and focus, we effect change in the physical level via the hormonal system – this also works the other way around. 

By working with physical mudra, Asana (movements) and Pran (breath) we approach the spirit world through the balancing of chemical constituents. 

Ganesh is the Chakravatin who balances the whole psycho/physical structure of the chakras. The chakras are 7 and exist in the physical world, they exist in the ‘astral’ and effect the emotional/mental levels of our being, and they extend beyond terrestrial reach into causal world and beyond to the spiritual world. The chakras can be seen as doorways to these levels of existence.

All in all the 7 chakras exist in these three worlds which are known by various names such as Bumi, Patala and Swarga.

That equals 21 levels of the 7 chakras when we see them as 7 x 3.

Each of these 21 chakra levels has a name and that is a name of Ganesh.

Rituals of Ganesh often work with these 21 mantras made up of various forms of his name. 

The 21 mantras work with the science of Naad (sound) to activate the potentialities of the 21 levels of chakra.

Within each of the 21 names of Ganesh is encoded a meaning that pertains to a particular level of the chakras.

Here is a list of the 21 names of Ganesh:

  1. Sarveshwara
  2. Sumukha
  3. Suragraja
  4. Vatave
  5. Bhalachandra
  6. Chaturhotra
  7. Heramba
  8. Ekadanta
  9. Guhagraja
  10. Vakratunda
  11. Shurpakarna
  12. Harasuna
  13. Lambodara
  14. Gajamukha
  15. Umaputra
  16. Ganadhisha
  17. Vinayaka
  18. Hematunda
  19. Vikata
  20. Kapila
  21. Siddhi Vinayaka

The first name in the list translates as the lord of the whole structure, and the last name in the list translates as the one who successfully brings magic and power.

In Tantric ritual each of the 21 sweets is offered along with each of the 21 mantras and concentration upon the 7 chakras in the 3 worlds. 

Ladhus or Modhaks being the most common offerings with the mantras, but all manner of sweets can and are be used as offerings to the energies and spirits of the 21 levels of awareness.

The sweets represent the physical tangible level.

Aside from the sweets, 21 types of leaf are offered and often made into incenses in Tantric ritual, the incense of the leaves represents the astral level by its more subtle form of matter.

For example jasmine leaves, Dhurbha grass, and several other leaves are offered, some of which have slight psychoactive effects when specially prepared as incense.

The gaseous level of the scent connects to the more subtle astral levels and spirits so that the various incenses further stimulate the 21 chakric levels.

Ganapati is a common name of Ganesh and translates as the pati (friend or master) of the Gana (spirits who preside in the 21 worlds) In the orthodox rituals the leaves are not usually burned, but offered whole. It is most common to offer 21 offerings of the Dhurbha grass alone. This is a leaf amongst the 21 that has a profoundly cooling effect on the body and is a preparation in many yogic remedies. The Dhurbha grass is to be offered with 3 strands that represent the 3 spinal channels, the scent and ingestion of this grass removes heat in the 3 main Nadis (meridians) so that Shakti can flow without burning obstructions.

There is a story that encapsulates the importance of the cooling effect of this important yogic herb that is used widely in many types of remedy and ritual invocation.

One there was a bothersome demon called Anlasur. He represented the heating nature of many of the pursuits that humans take that consume Soma (psychic elixir).

The demon Anlasur breathed fire and was causing catastrophe for humans.

The Gods and Yogis invoked Ganesh for help with this disturbing foe who was consuming life power.

The mighty Ganesh simply swallowed him whole and that seemed to be the end of that.

But soon after Ganesh was overcome with heat and burning sensations in his stomach. The fire was so great that he gained a voracious appetite to appease it.

The awakening of the Manipur (solar plexus chakra) finds form in Ganesh’s powerful belly and is further exemplified in the Ladhu sweet which is a heating yellow sweet ball that represents the sun.

The burning only abated when the clairvoyant sages ‘looked’ for a cure to the heat and saw the cooling nature of the Dhurbha grass that grows so commonly and abundantly. Having been covered in the Grass the heat in Ganesh’s belly subsided.

21 sprouts or bundles are offered in orthodox worship, often wrapped upon the statue of Ganesh in a way that mirrors and gives honour of the story.

Tantric mats are sometimes woven from this grass and used for executing the heating mudras and practicing without overheating the system. The asan (blanket) of the yogi is of the utmost importance in mudra practice.  Substances that do not conduct the electric generated by yogic practice(such as rubber yoga mats) work counterproductively on the electrical nervous system.

Ganesh and the honouring of the ancestors


As already noted, the Ganesh Chaturthi festival takes place after the Mother’s New Moon festival known as Prithori amvasya (see previous blogpost).

It is a new Moon of honouring the Mata Tattva.

The Mothers Moon follows on logically to the Ganesh Chaturthi to give a deeper grounding and earthing to the ancestral work set in motion on the New Moon.

In the Story we have already seen how Ganesh was the protector of the Mother as he stood watch over the watery world of the second chakra as his Mother wished to bathe undisturbed.

Another story that points to Ganesh’s significance as an honorary of the ancestors is one that tells of him as Chakravatin. 

The literal meaning of Chakravatin is the one who causes all the chakras to spin.

This is a word assigned to a ruler in a spiritual or a mundane sense and refers to ‘one who circles the world’

The story goes that in their youth, Ganesh and his brother Skanda were finding ways to test their super powers. A bet was set up between them – that the one who circles the world the fastest would win a plate of sweets.

The fast paced brother Skanda, was highly confident that he wound win the bet over the elephant paced Ganesh.

On the go! He set off at lightning speed and circled the world. 

When he returned he saw that Ganesh had not even left the house.

He prepared to take the prize of the sweets for himself, when Ganesh interjected and said, ”you were slower than I thought my dear brother.”

Skanda was not quite understanding until Ganesh clarified the situation.

Ganesh told how his world was his parents Parvati and Shiva and he did not need to race across space and time to circle them as Skanda had done. In fact he stayed home and took a few steps around them and completed it before Skanda had returned.

Skanda understood this and accepted Ganesh’s success.

Ganesh happily got the sweets and smiled at being able to communicate a secret about grounding energy.

When Ganesh Circles and concentrates on his parents as his ‘uni’verse he is honouring the ancestral lines. Ganesh grounds energy by setting free the astral knots that link us to blocked ancestral imprints. Ancestral work is a big part of Tantra and some of the mudras quite literally involve circling the ancestry and resolving issues on the spiritual levels.  Our ancestry lives in the psychic atmosphere of our being and is acknowledged as a key by the tantric for grounding and solidifying stray energies.

Ganesh in this story presents himself as the guardian to the world of the ancestors and the honouring of the lines from which we come.

Quite conveniently and without chance, as we flow our way through the Tantric years calendar, Ganesh carries us to the next major ancient tantric festival of Ancestral healing.

At the September Full Moon, we come upon the festival known as Pitri Pakasha, which literally translates as ‘the fortnight of the ancestors.’

At the time of the Pitri Pakasha the constellations of astral energies and influence are such that the spirit world of the ancestors comes close to the earth and Tantrics pay homage with healing rituals particularly on the Full, half and New Moon throughout the two weeks of the Pitri Pakasha festival time. 

It is a time of healing deep seated issues along the ancestral line. We will be gathering on specific dates in September too to join in ritual. For now we hope you will join us of these august dates to celebrate the child-mother connection.

Wisdom is a heavy subject with a heavy price that the Weight of the Elephant formed Ganesh reminds us of.

Hara Ring

Pithori Amvasya

August 11, 2020

New Moon | August 19
Mothers Moon

The New Moon of Child & Parents
Star constellation of the Pleiades active


Upon this sacred and ancient Tantric festival day, the Mother gives blessing and prayer to her children.
The healing of the Ancestral Shadows that we carry is the root of this Moon festival known as Pithori Amavasya.

The ritual is for healing of the ancestral blueprints of the Mothers line.
It is a ritual day for parents and Mothers and anyone wishing to heal the knots of karma connected to their matrilineal parentage through deep tantric prayer.
It is important to note how the whole of Tantric science upon the physical plane, within the bounds of birth and death, is a practice of Prayer. At deeper layers, the practice of prayer may become replaced by Prayer itself.
We live, move and have our being in a multiverse of energies that the Yogis give honour to by way of prayer.

The recognition of the seed of the one spirit within the numerous energies of the multiverse is the beginning of Yog. Though the seed be layered upon and sheaved by endless unique expressions, the source is the great mystery to which the courageous inquisitive explorer can’t help but be pulled.
On the last new Moon of July we honoured the healing Soma Tattva of Moon fluidity and the energy that implies.

Grace, reception, liquidity and softness.

Now, on the August new Moon, we honour another principle: The Mata Tattva (Mother element).
By honouring and connecting in prayer and ritual to the multiverse of such energies and sacred principles of existence, the yogins becomes full of honour and sacredness themselves.

The science of Tantra is a science and art of prayer and honour to the infinite forces and manifestations of Shakti. The prayer is eternal and it’s discovery never stops.

Shakti offered in prayer builds relationship with and to the place it is offered.

The Yogins therefore take care of Shakti and learn not to throw her into and places recklessly. We build relationship to the spirits by the Shakti we give those spirits. To put it another way: the places we invest our power become our reality. Sometimes the things we feed end up feeding on us.

On this occasion of Prithori Amvasya

The mother element within ourselves is activated, honoured and given dynamism by astral forces in Tantric ritual.
That implies not only Mothers of children but all born of the womb.
In the orthodox manner of this festivals acknowledgement, the focus goes on Prayers by Mothers, whereby Indian Mothers offer prayers, fasting and austerities for the good of their children. 

MOTHER
THE GRAIN & FLOUR OF LIFE


This ritual day is popularly called Prithori Amvasya.
The word ‘Prith’ refers to flour.
In some forms of worship, Murti’s (statues of the 7 mothers) are made out of flour or other such produce of sustenance such as rice and ground grain.

The acknowledgment of the staple grains that we eat on a day to day basis, has inherent in it the honour of the nourishing Mother element. And so the festival gets its name as the flour festival.  The Tantrics know this festival as Mata Puja which means the Mother Ritual.
In the Tantric lines of ritual, the Mother Tattva within all is nourished and connected with, through specific ritual formulas and practices. These practices apply to both Woman and Man, and apply equally to the child-full or child-less. The focus is on connecting to the Mata Tatva within, or one could call it the power of the inner Mother that we all carry.

Through the efforts of Tapasya (yogic austerity), concentrated prayers and fasting, the veil between the physical and psychic world is made thin. This assists in contacting and communicating with the energies offered by the planetary and astral forces upon ritual days, in the case of this ritual day – with the Mata Tattva or mother energy principle.

This Mata Tattva energy resides physically and energetically in the Womb of Woman, and in the Man it  presides in the physical and etheric ‘inner Womb’ that is responsible for the creation of the seed.

The physical and psychic essences of Rajas and Bindu or blood and Seed carry the imprint of Shakti and Shiv and the creative principle of the Mata Tatva. The lines of energy that distribute the creative Mother energy through the medium of the psycho/physical Rajas and Bindu are 7 in number.

THE STAR MOTHERS

In the human organism the 7 major Nadis of the distribution of Mata Shakti are named after the 7 stars of Kritta star constellation – also known also as the constellation of Pleiades. These stars are named after 7 forms of the Mother.

These astral star portals connect ethericly to the human microcosm of the astral body through the 7 Chakras and their respective Nadis (energy lines) that share the names of the 7 star Mothers. In the psycho/physical Human system the 7 major nadis that carry the creative Mata Tatva energy emanate from and to the Womb through the medium of the Rajas, in Woman, and the Bindu, in the Man:

1) womb to anus
2) womb to sexual organ
3) womb to navel 
4) womb to right and left breast
5) womb to throat 
6) womb to brain 
7) womb to top of head 

The mudras of Kamakhya and Kanah Karana, it may be noted tend to predominantly incorporate these channels.

The 7 stars of the Kritta star constellation (Pleiades) intersect with these corresponding Nadis in the human astral body through the portals of the chakras – by way of which the celestial energies reach the astral human body.

The astral effect upon these particular Nadis by the stars forces are more pronounced upon certain festival days which are days based on lunar and atmospheric influences.

The festival of Prithori Amvasya is such a festival that activates the energy of the Mother in us all.

This is the new moon festival time of ritual for birthing the potentials of the ‘7 Mothers’ in ourselves, whether woman or man. 

There are also 2 other ritual junctions in the Tantric years calendar where the energies of the Pleiades have a pronounced effect upon our human system here upon earth. These days are kept by tantrics for further ritualistic procedures of working with the Mother energy.

THE PLEIADES
A CLUSTER OF LOVERS


They are known as the seven sisters in western astrology. They are called the Sapt Matricas by the tantrics. Collectively they are the 7 Goddesses known as the Kritta. The word Kritta means ‘to cut’.
The myth tells how they were once cut from the Sapt Rishi constellation of the 7 stars of the Big Dipper. Indeed if one looks closely at the two star constellations it can be seen that they have a resemblance to each other.

There was a time when the Sapt Matricas and the Sapt Rishi existed beside each other as Lovers. The separating cut aroused the bluish dust cloud that can be seen around the Pleiades. Agni the God of fire was summoned by tapas (powerful firey prayers) of the 7 Rishis (Rishi refers to wise seer). Agni was invoked and his firey eyes fell upon the beauty of the seven Matrikas.
Agni fell profoundly in Love with the 7 star Goddesses because of their brightness and luminosity. Agni is their opposite. 

The 7 Matricas star Goddesses represent the cooling creative fire of Tejas and Agni represents the heating, consuming and destroying fire.

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

These fires belong together as they balance each other, but at the same time they are opposites that repel each other out and cancel the other out, much the same as the dance between Night and Day… cold and hot.
Agni’s Love for them was so great but unrealisable because of their marriages to the 7 Rishis.

Agni could not bear it and so he left the realm of the stars out of the desperation and sorrow of unrequited Love.
Agni then came to Earth as the first fire, his presence threatened to consume the entire earth.

The Goddess Svaha found him weeping fiery tears in a Forrest made barren by his laments.
Svaha fell in love with Agni for his intensity. When she realised the cause of his lamentations she immediately changed her form to look just like the 7 Matrika star Goddesses and together in her 7 formed femininity she entered into blissful union with Agni.
Agni was overjoyed and lived his deepest burning wish.

One may note in many of the fire rituals of India, both Tantric and orthodox, the name Svaha is uttered as mantras offerings are given into a ritual fire. Svaha being the cooling mantra that cools the hottest element of fire so it can be converted to Tejas and into a workable handleable form. The story encapsulates this principle in the way that Svaha is able to calm Agnis  fiery tears from becoming all-consuming.

Meanwhile up in the world of the Stars things had gotten barren for the wives of the Rishis. The fire had literally gone out without Agni’s presence. It had been the Invocation of Agni by the Tapas of the Rishis that had kept the flame of love burning. The Rishis became impotent old wise men that the wives began to suffer.

They were only fit for writing and spreading scriptural knowledge and started to write and teach… the once Wise lovers aflame with the fires of wisdom had become a bore. 

An amazing intrigue started when the Saptrishi’s heard that their wives had mothered the child of Agni. Accusations of infidelity were coldly thrown. The Rishis hoped to rouse Agni once more by their angry displays but all they succeeded in doing was insult and distance themselves from their wives. 

The offended and bored wives withdrew themselves as the flame of Love no longer burned, they travelled to another part of the sky, cutting the connection to their former lovers – hence the name of their constellation, known collectively as the Kritta: literally ‘to cut’.

The 7 Mother Stars of the Kritta constellation are in a portion of the astral plane which gives form to human souls on their last junction in incarnation upon the earth plane. The Saptrishi constellation of the Big Dipper can be said to give form to the mental and causal bodies of the soul whereas the Krittas of the (Pleiades) give birth and form to the astral emotional and subtle bodies that more closely connected to the physical plane. The Mother stars are the last star junction the spirit crosses until it comes to the plane of Bhumi (Earth) where it is physically birthed by the Mother.

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

An autonomy between the astral and the causal is something that is built through the astral thread known as the Antankarana. This thread exists within the spine and is equally a thread that connects the causal plane to the astral and furthermore to the earth through the intermediary of the Stars we are speaking of.
By bringing the 7 mother elements into balance, we bring a balance to the chakras in the body. The seven mothers are important to balance and bring into harmony if we are to establish connection to the causal plane and beyond.

The Mothers give astral form to the physical (Dhatus) or body constituents.
Each Matrika (Mother) rules a particular chakra which in turn rules a particular Dhatu.

The 7 Mothers are listed as:

1) Varahi: bone, Mooladhar Chakra
2) Indrani: marrow, Shaktistan Chakra
3) Kaumari: muscle, Manipur Chakra
4) Vaishnavi: fat, Heart Chakra
5) Brahmani: skin, Vishudd Chakra
6) Maheshvari: blood,  Agna Chakra
7) Chamunda: Bindu in the man, Rajas in the female;  Sahasra Chakra.

CHAMUNDA


Chamunda is the leader of the 64 Tantric Yoginis, her seat is on top of the human body where she waits for our death. Chamunda favours the seat of a corpse.

She is the Maha Shakti behind the 64 yoginis are who are mentioned in, and have been assimilated into, the scriptures of India. The wisdom of the 64 Yogis takes form in Tantric circles of initiation, outside of these circles, there is little known about them other than the weaving into scriptural mythology. The mantras and ritual practices that relate to the 64 yoginis involve very powerful formulas and rituals that have never been under the star of common knowledge.

Just like the temples of the 64 yoginis themselves in remote places, many unknown outside of Tantric circles and often in difficult to reach places.
The 64 yoginis are the keepers of the 64 types of Indian arts known as Kaula.
The door to those arts goes through the Goddess Chamunda.

She gets her name from the fact that she consumed the Asuras (demons) Chanda and Munda. These are the astral-Chandu and mental-Munda forces in ourselves that we have lost connection to through dissociation and unconsciousness.

The yogi works to associate the Chandu and Munda in unifying centralised awareness so that Chamunda May come about.

These forces when moving inward in a centripetal direction are a nourishing force  of Shakti that brings us life and arouses the grand Chamunda power that is key to the 64 Yogini powers: – Just as in the story where Chamunda consumes Chanda and Munda after first sucking out their blood into her very centre.

When the movement of Chanda and Munda moves outward in a centrifugal direction (away from the centre) then we have dispersion of Shakti and spiritual turmoil..

The force and violent ruthlessness of Chamunda represent an intense focus and unseating effort of the yogi to call Shakti back home.

GODDESSES & GODS
DEVI AND DEVA


When looking at the names of 7 Mother Goddesses, one can see the reflection to Gods that they are related to.

  1. Brahmani, is the Shakti of Brahma the creative energy.
  2. Indrani is the Shakti of Indra, the energy of thunder and lightning.
  3. Kaumari is the Shakti of Kumar, God of War and energy of Mangala the planet Mars.
  4. Vaishnavi is the Shakti of Vishnu 
  5. Varahi is the earthly Shakti of Varaha
  6. Maheshvari is the Shakti of Maheshvara. A name of Shiva.
  7. Chamunda is the Shakti of Bhairav the terrifying form of Shiva.  

The 7 Mother’s are the Devi’s of the 7 Deva’s.
Each Devi is a form of the Deva that is more tangible and manifest. 
This is inherent in their roles as the 7 Mothers.

The Mother gives form and birth to terrestrial life whereas the Deva stands for the ultra-terrestrial principle upon the mental and causal levels. Devi is the expression and shape of the principle in motion and manifestation. If the Deva is the Seed then Devi is the flower and fruit.
The tree of life is the interplay of Devi and Deva. 

The 7 Mother’s represent the more tangible physical form of Tejas, which becomes Ojas.
Ojas is the capacity of the emotional/physical organism to contain and distribute the fire of Tejas.

Tejas can be defined as the inner spiritual power of focus that touches upon subtle spiritual realms. The ability to access these subtle energies is one thing but to integrate these energies into the physical and emotional level is another thing entirely.

In the Tantric line of secret teaching, the 7 Devas represent 7 forms of Tejas that find union, completion and expression along with the 7 Devi’s through the medium of the 7 chakras.

The Earth Goddess Bhumi for example relates to the earth chakra and the subtle form of earth. She resides in and rules the base chakra – Mooladhar.

The Earth Goddess is also known as Bhudevi.

These are alternate names of the Matrika Varahi. She has the form of a boars head with a woman’s body and rides on a buffalo and is the Devi Shakti of the Deva Varaha.
When working with the Earth element, the Tantrics might then for example, employ the buffalo Mudras to engage the earth element.

THE MYTH OF THE EARTH


The myth tells how the Earth goddess Varahi had sunk down deep into the waters and how the great wild-boar-headed god Varaha came from the heights beyond the physical descending down (Tejas meeting Ojas).

Varaha had the body of a man and the head of a wild boar.
In his Love he tried to save his beloved, the Earth Goddess Varahi.
He fearlessly dived into the waters and hooked the earth upon his tusks and brought her to balance on the waters once again. 

Beneath her he installed a magical Elephant, Turtle and a snake to make sure she would never sink back into the depths. The Symbolism of the earth can be seen here with the elephant and the turtle and snake are two creatures that articulate between both water and earth.

This story is rich with symbols that point to the balance between the water and earth and the respective chakras – the Mooladhar, earth chakra, with the Shaktistan, water chakra. 

The earth element inside us in our base chakra can be submerged in the sea of the second sexual chakra. The optimal place is when the earth is in balance with the waters, possessing the stability and foundation of an elephant, and the articulation of a turtle and snake between earthly and watery worlds.
The Kundalini serpent which lives at the base of our being is indicated clearly in the myth.

The Asuras (demons) are the opposite of the Devas,

In the myth an Asura Hiranyaksha who dragged the Earth Goddess into the waters represents the unbalanced forces of the sexual chakra, which in the story had become imbalanced in relation to the earth chakra. 
The demon first emptied the earth of water which made her Tamasic (heavy) he then kidnapped her and then took the earth Goddess underwater. By this gesture, he submerged stability and balance.

The Tantrics practically study themselves through Tantric methodologies, to see where they might themselves be submerging their own stability and compromising their base chakra.

The base chakra supports the whole chakric system. It is to do with our home and our integrity.
And like the powerful Deva Varaha we must sometimes also dare to dive into the very depths of our chakric themes to recover our Shakti.
A wild boar knows no taboos of putting it’s snout and tusks into all manner of matters and types of matter – just as Vahara recovered his Shakti Varahi.

This myth of Varaha and Varahi relates to the relationship between the lower two chakras. There are myths that relate to other chakras and the relations between the chakras.

For example the Lion god Narashima ripped the entrapped Shakti out of the solar plexus of Hiranyakashipu in another myth.

The demon who took Varahi down into the waters was actually the brother of Hiranyakashipu who is also known as Hiranyaksha. The two brothers are tied up in the themes of the Granthis (energetic blocks/knots) at the world of the Chakras below the Kalabandh – the centre of the body at the diaphragm which separates the upper reflections of expressionary chakras from the Base powers of the chakras below where the two brothers represent the Granthis.

Energetic blocks are the psycho/physical Granthis, as the yogis call them. 

They are made up of unconscious themes that the yogi seeks to resolve through Tantric means.

When we go a bit further into the myth of the two brothers – who cause chaos in the lower chakras through an unbalanced handling of force – we see that they were once the divine gate keepers to the Heart chakra. However, they failed to do their job satisfactorily and thence fell from grace and became the energies of chaos that haunt the lower chakras below the Kalabandh.

STORIES & MEANINGS


These stories may easily seem like fantastical fairy tales and they are, but further in stories are encoded yogic principles, one could see the moral aspect very easily and this is often latched onto by the religious expressions and sentiments projected upon such stories. Such stories abound in scriptural texts in vast amounts of variations. The stories are ancient and archetypal realities that point to inner elements that we experience on the yogic voyage. The symbols of the chakras and their significances are woven in to the stories, they can easily be shaped to represent moral codes as is often done by the religious institutions, but much more is in the stories than mere morality.

The lines of myth pre-date scripture, scripture has been a human attempt to install stories and information systematically. Very often what happens is that those stories take on the meanings that organised religions assign to them. Tantrics do not really have scriptures, even if there are a few ancient writings under the name of Tantra. Tantra is a subject kept alive and distributed carefully through oral, magical and practical means. The stories are often imparted by elders who may have little or no scriptural insight.

The stories are numerous and point at inner realities that relate to the yogic cosmology of the universe that we are.

They are at once teaching stories and double up as stories portraying energy principles detailing the cosmology of the human psycho/physical system and the macrocosmic celestial movements of planetary and atmospheric influences.

For example the above detailed story of the Vahara power inside us tells of how the base chakra can be submerged by the second chakra if the Shakti is lived or even ‘unlived’ to an unbalanced greater extent through the second chakra. The Vahara power is the active side of Varahi who represents the passive earth element, an active earth power is then needed to care for the base chakra if we are to keep the earth mother inside of us in a state of nourishing release or ‘receptivity’. 

Another name of Varahi is Bhumi. 

In another story, Bhumi who is the Earth Goddess married the sky father God Dyaus Pitir (literally sky father) together they birthed a daughter called Usha who is the Goddess of the dawn that opens her eyes at twilight.

Polarities coming together to give birth to the new is implicit in the story. The story of Varahi shows how, if we do not find the active earth principle within ourselves, then our home life falls into chaos and reliance upon anything but our own earth powers.

Just as in the Story where Varahi is submerged by the unconscious and unbalanced waters of the second chakra, Varahi represents the nourishing aspect of home life.

Vahara, on the other hand, is the active earth power that places the earth elephant, serpent and turtle beneath her to keep stability, these second creatures both being creatures that can articulate between both earth and water, or between the base and second chakra.

The Seven Mothers are responsible for the creation of life in the womb.

They introduce the 7 forms of Tejas which relate to the subtle principles symbolised by the Deva’s. The Mothers bring these elements into the emotional and physical realm through the 7 physical constituents called the Datus: blood, bone, skin, marrow, bindi/rajas, muscle fat.

This applies equally to the grounding of ultra-terrestrial realities to the terrestrial level as it does to the bringing of nourishment and life to a child in the womb.

The 7 Mother’s feature pivotally in Tantric ritual when addressing childbirth and the care and development of children.

7 types of Malady are traceable to the 7 Mother’s being offended. For example if the first Mother Varahi is not honoured then this effects the earth element and the bones. Bone is the Dhatu (bodily element) under the rulership if Varahi. There are particular uses of Bija mantras that access the realm of the earth element and bring it into balance. 

Accidents also come under the rulership of Varahi as they are physical manifestations of psychic energies.

Falling, or having something fall upon oneself is a malady under the eye of Varahi. 

The things that wound or offend the earth element are to be considered when attempting to make peace with Varahi. Drugs for example radically unground the physical Datus and unseat Varahi.

Varahi is at the base of all the Datus, even though bone is her speciality.

She is the foundation of the whole system. Indeed she resides in the base Chakra. Her Mudra is sometimes known as Bhumi Mudra or the earth triangle and is most often the starting place of Tantric yogic ritual. Varahi needs special attention as the base of our being must be honoured for the structure to live well.

Tantrics who work very much in trance and the astral realms of ritual equally risk unseating Varahi by unbalancing the physical Dhatus. 

Prolonged  levels of focus in subtle realities can draw Tejas and Ojas apart. 

In order to keep Varahi in her seat and happy, the Tantric must take care to not get un-lodged from the earth seat by excessive wayward travels to the spirit realms. Such travels are not easily accessed for most are require a degree of siddhi and focus, so this mainly pertains to those who are deeply living in intensive daily Tantric sadhana.

For such practitioners it is important to find a way to the earth seat of Varahi. There are methods to ground the energies, sometimes tobacco is used as a crude method but it is far from being recommended. 

The magnetism of babies and young children, animals and forests also grounds the physical layers and it is good for far-traveling Tantrics to associate with such.

VARAHI RULES THE HOME


It is said that if Varahi is pleased she brings Love between Mothers and Fathers. She brings love from the parents to the children and back to the parents from the children.

The children represent the underworld of Patala. They are in a process of growing and manifesting from the seed of potential born of a dark womb.

The mother is the physical/astral realm of Bhumi. The Mata Tatva spreads a nourishing energy through the astral level and spreads to the physical. Woman is connected to this through her rajas (womb energy). This principle is most starkly seen in pregnancy.

The father represents the mental/causal world known as Svarga.

The Bindu seed has the action to move in this direction and so the man connects to this realm. Again, this principle can be seen to play out actively in the creation of life.

For these 3 elements of Mother, Child and Father to be in balance with each other – practically and figuratively speaking – Varahi must be pleased.
These 3 energetic interplays can be looked at closely to be seen to play out on many levels.

Homes without Love are homes where Varahi’s seat is comprised. Whatever the constellation of the home may be, whether abounding with family or whether it be the solitary home, it is made up of this movement of energy, regardless of gender, or partnership or child-fullness or childlessness, a home is dependent upon these aforementioned exchanges of energy. The articulation of these energies in fluid motion make for a good home life.

Every man has the child and woman inside him. As every woman has the man and child inside her.

The physicality creates a magnetic current that makes an energy more present.. a man has constituents in his body that a woman does not have and vice versa, regardless of sexual or gender orientation, the energies we are talking about are magnetic principals that do not relate to a socio-stereotype of roles.

We have taken the model of mother, father and children to express movements of energy. Whatever the state of our home we may see how the balance of the 3 elements expressed in Patala, Bhumi Svarga must be in harmony. We can say underworld/astral, earth plane and spirit world just as readily as child, mother, father.

The intonation of mantras is a bridge between the world of Tejas and Ojas, as making sound is the physical feel-able activity of a subtle form of sound. If a mantra is said internally without voicing it physically then it builds Tejas internally.

The 7 types of Tejas are addressed very specifically by inner concentrations on 7 types of sound, when voicing these sounds it gives them tangible form and applies the energy to be converted to Ojas.

This is anthar mantra (inner sound) and the opposite is bhar mantra (externalized sound).

There is to be sometimes noted a change in the internally voiced Bija than in the externally voiced.

Tantrics are able to accomplish siddhi’s such as Healing if they build up a power of inner Tejas through inner mantra. The voicing of an internally empowered  mantra unleashes tremendous force that is dependent upon the degree to which it has been empowered.

In the same way that the car needs petrol to drive, the engine of ritualistic undertakings requires fuel. 

Tejas is the fuel and Ojas is the car, we could say.

HONOURING THE 7 MOTHERS
AFTERTHOUGHTS


When the 7 types of Energy are honoured then there is a harmony in the Chakras.

For example, if we were taking a journey, we would need to make sure we have the respective necessities with us.  We would take the required and suitable clothing to accommodate the weather, we would secure the necessary travel documents and tickets to allow the journey, and we would arrange for necessary nourishment and accommodation. If all the elements of taking such a journey are in balance then there would be a satisfactory outcome to reaching the destination.

If one element were out of balance, such as not having a ticket or not taking warm enough clothes for the climate then the whole journey could be thrown off balance.

The structure of the Chakras and the chakric life that we live needs balance for harmony to prevail. It is a careful undertaking to learn about our own specific chakric life and the care it needs as we go through the journey of life.  Every person has their own melody, rhythm and music of the Chakras that takes listening to know just how to honour and move by it.

The remedies that nourish our chakras can be found through self-study and Tantric practices. By experientially investigating the psychic and physical rhythms of our make-up, we can discover the poisons and the remedies that create or destroy Life and Love in us. 

The tantric practitioner takes a step of self-reliant autonomy that sets aside any standard system of conduct.  The tantric becomes his or her own physician as they investigate the dynamics of their use of energy. Actions that we ourselves do are investigated in Tantra for their life giving or life taking potentialities.

The 7 mothers each have their realm of influence through their respective mantras and remedies. Seven types of flower are known in Tantra to that create remedies for example. Food crystals, metals, types of Sadhana (spiritual practice) and many manner of things exert influence upon the chakras through a psycho/physical medium.

By correspondence and connection, each of the 7 energy constellations relate to respective elements of influence.

Just as there are beneficial currents of the seven mothers which are known as Amrit (remedies), there are also malefic currents known as Halahala (poisons).

The correct measure of elixir and poison is needed in balance to arouse harmony in the chakras. The state of a chakra can itself turn poison to elixir and elixir to poison.

The 7 mothers are our celestial parents who are connected to us through the chakras – In the same way that the parents are always connected to a child spiritually, before and after birth and into adulthood and beyond.

A great field of influence exists through the parents to the child through the chakric system, especially that which the parent does in the younger years of the child, bears heavy influence upon the child energetically. 

THE WOMB OF LIFE


The seven Mothers are the creators of life in the womb. They reveal 7 types of the creative fire of Tejas in the wombs of the 7 chakras. 

The 7 stars of the Pleiades are a celestial form of Tejas that is revealed and honoured by Tantrics on the August Dark Moon. The seven stars reveal themselves by a bluish diamond-like glow.

There are other points in the year when these Star Goddesses come into their power. We shall come to those days later in more detail upon the respective ritual days.

August is a time of maturing and the first beginnings of harvest. The Matrikas play their role in this fruitful development.  This beginning of ripening applies to fruit and harvest as well as to human life. The time of harvesting the fruit of the astral forces and their influence on physical life is now. The ancients who lived so much in natural rhythms, as to be able to feel and see the influence of celestial and planetary currents, chanted mantras to match the vibrations of the stars and set up ritual conditions for the spirits of the 7 mothers to me welcomed and pleased.

When the 7 mothers are offended by us going against nature ‘and our own nature’, they are said to bring disharmony in the area of birth.

This applies to physical both as well as the birth of our visions. 

The mothers are pleased when we extend ourselves through tapasya (yogic technique and effort) to touch the stars.

Women who have problems conceiving children would be directed Tantricly, for example, to balance the bodily elements through the learning and chanting of the corresponding Bija mantras.

The Bija Mantras (seed syllables) of the 7 mothers have connection to the nadis (energy lines) that articulate the 7 dhatus (bodily substances) to and from the womb and areas of reproduction.

The 7 Matrikas care for children by shining favourable fortune upon them.

Children are still in the range of influence of the celestial currents as they are not so fully incarnated from the spiritual to the earthly yet through the passage of development and time.

If the parents are out of balance with any of the Matrika elements, either physically or psychically, then the child reaps that unbalance because of their close connection to the parents.

The prayers of Mothers for the well-being of children is the conventional interpretation of this ritual day. When looking at this New Moon festival from the Tantric perspective, we see that this ancient balancing ritual is done for the welfare of children. Hence it is called the Mothers Moon Ritual to tantrics – Mata Amvasya Puja. 

It is Tantricly carried out by both men and women, both child-full and child-less people for the pleasing of the seven protective Mothers, the ritual arouses innocence and heals both the inner and outer child.

This ritual has as a root the practice of formulas for adults to set up favourable spiritual conditions in their psycho/physical mechanism, so that the children and children to come would be freed from ancestral karmas, shadows and ill-favoured imprints. 

Ritual practices and Healing at this time focuses on freeing oneself of their own ancestral karmas so that the child in us can relinquish itself of inner battles.

By establishing good connection with the 7 Motherly spirt energies of the Matrikas that exist within us – reflected and empowered on this day by the Star forces that rule them –

We give space to the Child of Freedom.

This will be the theme of our online ritual gathering on the August New Moon, on the 19th of August. We hope you will join us.

Hara Ring

Hayagriva Jayanti

July 28, 2020

August Full Moon

As we move through the year celebrating the tantric festivals we  would like to introduce you to a lesser know divinity, and yet a very important one within the Tantric system: Hayagriva.
Hayagriva is the Horse headed God, and the full Moon of August is celebrated as his birthday in the ancient Indian festival known as Hayagriva Jayanti, the birthday of the Horse-headed God.
Tantric law has its roots deeply at the base of this festival, mapping out the mythological and energetic significance of this day that honours the Horse God.

Tantra goes into practical and magical invocation of the Horse energy by specific Yog practices to awaken our own inner Horse power and raise the Kundalini energy into full consciousness.

The Horse breath is a pranayama (breathing) practice that  is practiced upon this ritual Moon.
It is s breath that simulates the sound of a horse, this pranayam stimulates the nerves connected to the third eye and assists in giving one insight and vision into the two halves of ourselves (the dark and light parts of each one of us) and how they relate to each other.
The Chorrah, or Horse challana (movement), is a Tantric Mudra of moving as if one were upon horseback. There are numerous asanam in which this is done, but mostly it is performed in the squatting position. Along with inner horse Mudra these practices will be woven into this nights ritual.
On this night, Tantric wisdom harnesses the planetary energy that is present on this lunar junction. The lunar house named Ashvini is the Horse constellation that is touched upon the astral plane by the August full Moon. It gives us spiritual access to the powers of the Horse.
The Horse constellation is connected to the star brothers, the Ashvins, who are the divine healing horsemen.

The Ashvins are two healing twins who ride the starry heavens. When their influence is in orbit, they bring dead parts of us to life.
The Horse Stars bring power to those places that have fallen into Tamas (resignation). These Healing star brothers are the representatives of Usha, the Goddess of the dawn who stands for the birth of new things.

These are the energies that we shall be working with upon the astral plane on this coming Full Moon.

The Human & the Horse


The Horse is a powerful solar animal.
The Horse has an unparalleled stamina, perhaps for this reason the Horse has been used by humans for transportation. Once it was common practice to own a horse as a form of fulfilling labour duties and providing transport.
The grace and elegance of a horse is still something admired and much sought after and represented in the culture by things such as fashion icons or horse racing, dressage, festival parades and such.
The beauty and capabilities of the horse may well have been something working in its ill-favour as horses become an often mistreated ‘product’ of selfish human satisfaction.
Perhaps this relationship between the human and the Horse mirrors our own inner misbalance between the human and the animal (horse) sides of our nature.

The Horse headed god steps-up upon this ritual festival to reveal the balance of nature within ourselves; the balance between the instinct of nature and the human will.

The constellations are in favour as Hayagriva the Horse headed man opens the portal of balance upon the astral plane at the Full Moon in August.

The human animal in its potential has at once its hands in the ‘civilised’ world and its hooves upon the green grass of nature.

WESTERN ENLIGHTENMENT


The confining and domesticating of wild animals is something that we see played out in a larger scale. The captivity of animals to exist without their natural climate in which to express their natural instincts is something that in our modern culture we may have got completely conditioned to.  We might be so used to it as to even take it as a normality.

It is worth recalling that, the Western project of Enlightenment has been one of domination of Man over Nature, as opposed to living in equilibrium with nature – the objective of ‘Eastern Enlightenment’ and in particular of Tantra.

The reigning in and confinement of instincts is equally paralleled in the human.
Our human nature may have become confined within religious and spiritual dictums, or it may have been harnessed to pull the cart of commerce and capitalisation as the authentic human being gets overridden by other gods and myths.
Many things we might take to be normal are brought into question when and if natural law unfolds. Tantra is the path of attempting to reveal and unfold Nature’s Laws within ourselves.

THE MYTH OF HAYAGRIVA


Hayagriva is mythologised as a great yogi who acquired immense power, which he couldn’t handle and therefore ended up misusing.
The myth tells how of he fell into the shadow of unconsciousness and threatened the very existance of creation. Hayagriva was a black horse headed yogi who had become so powerful that the power went to his head. He was driven by one-sided unconscious forces that were heedless to any effect, for the unconscious shadow was outside of the eye of awareness.
Unstoppable was he in his destruction, just like the horse that is able to run at great speed without getting breathless. This is why Hayagriva represents the unstoppable force of Prana.
By his unstoppable force he reigned darkness upon the world, so much so that he even caused the sun to fall.

The world threatened to fall into complete darkness as the black horse ran amok in his self-glorifying dance of destruction. In this state Hayagriva represents the unconscious use of power without a balanced natural will to guide him.

From the celestial spheres above Hayagriva was met by the other side of his shadow, his light form, a white horse that had galloped along with him all along, but outside of Hayagriva’s consciousness.

It is sometimes so, that the unconscious shadow-forces possess one and create a darkened life void of awareness.

The black horse suffered for his relentless blindness and held a secret prayer for salvation from his dead ended path. And so the white form of Hayagriva was called forth and into awareness when the mindless shadow rampage had reached the furthest extent of blindness possible. A war and struggle of epic proportions between the two was brought forth until a balance between shadow and light was restored.

Tantricly speaking, once the forces of the shadow become known, they can be gradually and carefully integrated from the unconscious and often destructive levels they play out in our lives. Once seen, known and worked with, our shadow parts can be put to use creatively to unfold in more constructive and mysterious ways of using power in our lives.

The integration of the shadow, the core objective of Tantra, is symbolised in the myth of Hayagriva.
Seeing the Shadow in wakefulness and not in a dream state that it so easily casts upon us is a grand undertaking.

The Black Hayagriva represents unconscious forces in the shadow such as jealousy, selfish interest over others and the will to be superior. These being all powers that can’t be stamped out, but powers to be redirected and liberated from unconscious programs and traumas that give them their birth and power. They become creative forces when the two horses, black and white, are unified and work with each other. This is the birth of the Horse god within us.

It is the unified Hayagriva who carries the Sun up each day at sunrise and lets her rest at night. He comes to know both parts equally, light and darkness, and doesn’t try to keep the Sun down in the night nor up during the day. He accepts the natural existence of both and lets them express themselves equally.
Representing the strength of our prana and how by balancing the black and white horses of breath – the in and out breath is implied here – we can raise Shakti from the unconscious levels to the levels of awareness.
The unified Hayagriva is the inner alchemy of the black and white horse – the objective of the ritual gathering we will undertake on this Full Moon.

If you would like to join the circle,  

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NAAGA PANCHAMI

July 22, 2020

Naaga Puja is also known as Naaga Panchami.
A time honoured Indian festival,
both for orthodox worship and the Tantric lines,
it is a ritual time of working with the spirit of the snake.

Practices of the Snake Night


Upon this night, Tantrics engage in inner and outer snake mudras and ritual practice to balance their energy involvements upon the astral plane. The junction of celestial energies upon this festival day makes it a most favourable time for working with the astral forces. Bija mantras relating to the snake are chanted along with the antar (inner) Naag Mudras. Various asanam are practiced to help assist one in opening the astral portals in the psycho/physical constitution.

In Tantric practice, there are many particular physical snake mudras which help free our perception and vision from astral interference. For example, Naagini mudra is a radical position of body and mind that embodies the snake quality strongly in our system, it establishes a strong connection to the world of the snakes. In fact it refers directly to a woman who is both human and serpent at the same time. Working with inner and outer eagle practices also forms part of the Tantric Naagas Panchami ritual as the eagle and snake are intimately connected.

The spirits and energies of the Astral plane are of numerous kinds. Those that live in the most unconscious recesses are known to Tantrics as the Naagas. The Naagas are spirits and energies that can have deep effect upon our consciousness. They link to us and live and operate from the most unconscious level of our being.

Naaga Lokh – realms of the underworld


Naaga ‘Lokh’ (realm) is one of the many dimensions of the astral world. We might think of it as a parallel universe where we exist perhaps only in a semi-conscious or unintegrated state. The work of the Tantric Naaga Puja Ritual is to find the part of our human consciousness that dwells unconsciously in the World of the Naaga and bring it to a state of awakened awareness.

The Naaga realms are places where our Shakti is invested in a semi-aware state of consciousness particularly in relation to base and sexual chakra themes. These can be places where we have blind spots and lose our power. By becoming aware of our unconscious investments and the patterning we have within ourselves, we may relinquish the invested Shakti.

Naaga Lokh exists in the underworld. This is not a ‘hell’ as might be understood by the term underworld, although it can be depending on what kind of relationship we have to the Naaga spirits within ourselves. The underworld is known as Patala to the yogis. It has seven divisions and each semi division corresponds to one of the seven chakras. Naaga Lokh is the deepest of them all. It is a deep ‘heaven’ and is said to have more beauty than the upper world, with the Naaga as keepers of its most precious jewels, the Naagmani.

Some say that it is mere myth that a cobra has a jewel underneath its hood. Many speculations have ensued around the Naagmani, and many commercial ventures of selling such pseudo-Snake stones are undertaken in the name of Naagmani.

Real Naagmani’s are very rare and can never be procured easily. Only very specific and extremely rare snakes carry the precious stone. Some tantrics may gain such a stone by very special procedures that involve a deep degree of magical knowledge and accomplishment. The Naagmani is sometimes handed down as a power object among the Siddha’s in their initiations.

The 3 worlds and their 7 divisions


According to the Tantrics, there exist three worlds. The first two are portals to the astral world:

Patala – the underworld of seven divisions, connected to the seven chakras and connected astrally to the earth;

Bhumi or Pritvi – the Earthly world which includes the stars and physical manifestation of planets. This physical world we live in has seven divisions of manifested energy which are expressed through the chakras. These chakras start at the terrestrial base levels to bring and go all the way up to the ultra-terrestrial chakras in the head that are finer the frequencies. Individuals and collectives in the physical world may live in all manner of energy constellation of the seven realities of the chakras. Naturally we move between these seven states of being according to many factors, one being the influence of Lunar currents upon our constitution.

Swarga – the third world – is the upper world beyond the physical that is connected to us on earth through the portals of the stars. Again this is divided into seven levels – each of which corresponds and intersects with the manifestations of Chakras within us on earth.

We could think of the Swarga realms as the fruit and flowers of the tree, the earth could be likened to the shade of the tree along with the taste and scent of its offerings. The Patala underworld would then be the roots.

These worlds are given various names according to the district or the bent of the school. For example in left hand Tantra (the way of the Heart): The realm of Patala is the world of the Crow – Kah. The realm of Swarga is the world of the Swan – Hamsa. Bhumi is the Earth Goddess who stands between their flights, she is the place where the birds meet and depart in the ever swinging dance between moondark and moonlight.

At the Full Moon, the upper Swarga World of the Swan is most active, as it is in the ascending half of the lunar month.
At the Dark Moon, the underworld of the Crow…Patala is most active, as it is on the descending half of the lunar month.

By balancing and addressing our being in one of the worlds, we balance and address the reflection of that world in all its 3 levels:

1) The unconscious
2) The physical manifest level of the body
3) The level of consciousness

These 3 layers interrelate and are inseparable. By addressing unconscious areas we bring the corresponding shift of power to a change in our consciousness and the body changes in the way Praan (breath) and Shakti relate to it.

We often have a familiar station of residence that is our main chakra of issue with which we are concerned. Through this chakra we may predominantly express and live out our life.

The Chakras are stations or even whole worlds we could say and Tantrics are travellers between the worlds. Tantrics start at the base underworld levels. They work also with much physical Mudra and spiritual astral vision techniques, but a lot of the focus of the Tantric pursuit comes back towards opening and untying the knots of the unconscious Granthis in the underworld.

The rituals of Tantrics take into account atmospheric, celestial, lunar and seasonal shifts of energy and the portals that these movements create in relation to the 3 worlds. What drives a person to such Tantric travels of traversing and connecting unknown territories? is a question well worth pondering!

Shiva and the 3 Worlds


Shiva is the one who is free of the shadows of the unconscious, or rather free of the overshadowing of consciousness. The state of Shiva that is our potential is to become aware on all the spiritual planes, waking from dreams and integrating and disentangling ourselves from unconscious energy ties to the numerous astral realms.

Mythology often tells of competitions between the Gods. In one such instance Shiva revealed the extent of his power, burning through the three worlds with the power of his awareness.

This fire of awareness and psychic power is known as Tejas. It is strong when the things that belong to the upper world of consciousness are gathered and extricated from the places they are intertwined in the underworld of the unconscious. The myth tells how the beam of Tejas extended to infinity beyond the underworlds and the upperworlds, it’s end was sought hopelessly but never to be found. Shiva himself was the beam. The great Lingam of energy.

Ling refers to the Male generative power and Gam to the Female creative power. Shiva was the pinnacle of both of these forces in balance in all three worlds.

Shiva revealed himself as a vast beam of Tejas fire which shot out 12 snakes from the 12 Naaga Granthi (snake knot) portals of his body. These 12 portals relate to the body’s 12 snake meridians.

The 12 snakes of Tejas fire were attracted to 12 magnetic places of power on the earth – marked by the 12 Jyotirlingam temples spread across India. Jyotir means ‘sacred flame’. Each of the 12 temples is related to one of 12 forms of Shiva and these 12 forms are also names for the 12 (Naaga) Granthi (energy knots) of the human organism, with the the temples located diametrically upon the human body. Each temple has a Bija mantra known to Tantrics which can open the related places energy knots in the psycho/physical system. Sophisticated Tantric methods of bodily asan along with Mudra and inner psychic work unties the Granthis and brings the human into a balance in and between the three worlds.

A particular magnetic place of power upon the earth can open the particular corresponding Granthi in the body. Obstinate karmic blocks and both psychic and physical impediments can be healed by going to the corresponding places of magnetism. Such places of power can equally disrupt psychic and physical forces in the human system.

The 7 Stars of the Saptrishi


As discussed in a previous newsletter, Sapt means ‘seven’ and Rishi means ‘Seer’. The 7 stars of the Saptrishi constellation are connected to the 7 chakras and represent portals through which the 7 types of human soul are incarnated.

One star type may be reflected or represented more strongly in a particular culture, group of people or individual. Though astral forces of like-kind, as well as like-kind types of being do tend to group together and create a defined line of consensual reality, this is not a clear cut subject with hard and fast rules.

A Tantric practitioner attempts to know all 7 worlds of the 7 Stars of the Saptrishi and may attempt to move out of their comfort zone and familiar port of residence – discovering worlds shaded from view by unconsciousness and worlds far beyond their star of origin. When the voyage has gone so far and all astral worlds are made a home of…then the Yogi becomes one of the Natanaaga, the celestial dancers.

The Turtle Star


‘Kacchaapa’ refers to one of the Saptrishi star constellations and means ‘turtle’ in reference to its  elliptical turtleshell-like shape. 

Mythology tells that the Turtle Star Rishi Kacchaapa fathered 84 crore (Indian numerical measurement) of all manner of species of astral spirit, earth creatures and plants including the Naagas. From the very monstrous astral ghouls known as Rakshasas to the very Benign Gahandarvas. Even Garuda, the King of Birds himself is his son. All such being relate to the earth or water elements, even if only as an opposite, as in the case of the bird (sky) relating to the snake (earth) and each came through this one (turtle star) in a previous Manvantara (age).

The Turtle Star is an astral portal to the earth plane for the Naagas, connecting them to us energetically and physically at the level of the base and sexual chakras. It is to be remembered that a snake is a creature that is close to the earth, it can swim, much in the same way a turtle is versatile in these two elements. Hyper aware in their world, paradoxically, the Naaga spirits that incarnate on the earth can be profoundly tamasic (sleepy) and revolve in the themes and shadows of these first two chakras. They are usually astral brings and realities or illusions depending on the insight of our vision. Just as a Naaga may incarnate in the human realm, so a human on earth may enter the Naaga worlds through work with the chakras as star portals worlds.

Awakening Garuda, King of Birds


Garuda is often known as the vahana (vehicle) of Vishnu. Garuda is half human and half eagle. Known commonly as the enemy of all serpents, his Tejas (spiritual fire) is not dimmed or put to sleep by their slippery world. The astral world of the Naagas is seen in awareness when the Tejas is relinquished and brought to flame.

Two fires recognised by the Tantrics are worked with and brought to their rightful balance. Tejas –  cooling and creative.  Agni – hot and destructive.

This very principle of the human bird represents the becoming conscious within the unconscious worlds of the Naagas. A human with the possibility of flight, represented by the wings of Garuda. He is one who has penetrated the world of unconsciousness in an awakened state, able to see the dreams that steal Shakti from the Astral plane and bring her back.

By flying spiritually into the astral plane with the sharp vision of the eagle Guruda we are able to awaken from unconscious dreams of ‘illusory reality’ in the worlds of the Naagas. For Garuda the Naagas are no threat, his vision and direction are one pointed (Dharana). He represents the ascent of Kundalini.

Awakening Garuda within ourselves means disentangling our energy from the illusions that bind it in the astral plane, with the skill of an eagle. Garuda is also known as Ellh in Tantra, and finds his expression in the Ellh Mudras (eagle locks). The Tantric becomes Garuda when working with astral illusions, dreams and shadows. The sharp penetrating vision of the eagle is needed for such a venture of insight.

Taking the Dance of Shiva


In many depictions, Shiva wears snakes at all the major energy junctions of the physical locations of the Granthis, even wearing the snake necklace. He wears them as ornaments because he is friend and lord of the snake spirits of the astral plane, and therefore called Naaganath. The Naaga spirits are no longer knots upon the energy centres of his physical and astral body. Shiva is one who has awakened from the dream of the Naagas.

Legend has it that when we attempt Tantra, we are taking the dance of Shiva. Through the astral levels of dreams. Shiva lives in us as the lord of dreams, awake in the dreams and illusions of variegated astral realities.The path of Shiva reveals to us where we are yet unconscious.

Shiva is he who opens the doors of Tantric practices. To the locked doors of the Granthis – it is Shiva who gives the keys when we undergo the courageous voyage to face the world of our dreams and illusions. Shiva is the fearless one inside us. Shiva is ever on the path of dreams and reality. He is at once, human and animal, angel and demon, man and woman, dark and light…..and at the same time Shiva is beyond these things. Shiva is the soul within us that is empowered upon the day of Nag Panchami to voyage through the astral.

Returning Shakti


A focused state of awareness and Kundalini awakening occurs when one de-invests themselves of unconscious patterning. Tantra is such a path of deprogramming. In order to awaken the Queen Shakti of Kundalini, the yogi brings their Shakti back from the realms of the unconscious. On the Path of Kundalini, one confronts the deep layers of oneself and becomes conscious of the spiritual forces within and behind their inner states of unconsciousness.

The portal to the world of the Naaga is opened by the celestial currents on this day of Naaga Panchami. Naaga spirits can give both benefic or malefic effects according to the level of our awareness of the astral planes and relation to Shakti. For example – if we were to walk through a stretch of forest known for its wild dogs with an open basket full of meat, chances are we would be pursued for the aforementioned food. Travelling in a more conscious manner however, we might know how to protect our goods or even befriend the dogs and walk with them as allays.

By denying ourselves access to the realm of the snakes altogether because of its alleged ‘danger’ or difficulty, we deny ourselves access to the reflection of that realm in the upper-world, the world of the Birds.

The Naaga astral planes cannot be shut down or denied, but our relationship to those worlds and spirits changes according to the way we relate to them. Naagas that cause us suffering are brought into a different constellation of relationship with us as we become conscious of previously unconscious uses of Shakti energy.  Tantrics see how the path of denial or repression leads to a diminishment of life power. Turning one’s gaze in an easy and pleasant direction and holding it there takes a huge amount of Shakti and can close off our great potentials. Some spiritual paths might work in this way, but Tantra is inclusive of all realms.  Sitting in the courageous seat of Shiva, the Tantric comes to know all of existence.

As one becomes familiar and aware of the world of unconsciousness, the journey becomes one of waking up from dreams that shade our power. Shakti is then raised from her latency of being. She lives in the unconscious in varying degrees… intertwined in the unseen half of the reflection of life.  Our vision broadens to see the underworld – which is brought to awareness by the exploration that the Tantrics know as the healing path.

Unresolved sexual and base karma themes within the first two chakras of our being are what tie us unconsciously to the world of the Naagas. By bringing our sexual power back from the unconscious places of investment there, we heal deeply rooted imprints – even ancestral sexual imprints that we carry. We naturally and gradually awaken Kundalini as the great amount of invested astral Shakti is brought back to our centre.

For Kundalini to awaken it is as simple as healing the bonds that disempower us and take our powers away with them. Simple yes, but a profound venture to undertake.

Beauty comes when Shakti returns,
Hara Ring

SOMA

July 15, 2020

THE FORGOTTEN JEWEL OF TANTRA


Dear Friends of the Healing Circle,

This coming New Moon (Monday 20 July 2020 )is under the rulership of Soma. In Tantra, Soma refers to the Moon and carries several connotations.

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

The opposite of Tejas is the hot fire of Agni.
Tantra is concerned with bringing both the cooling and the heating fires into a balanced dance with each other.
Soma vivifies and creates, whereas Agni consumes and destroys.
Both of these fires are needed in the correct proportions in the constituents of our body and spirit.

A balance of colling and heating forces (fires) 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.

PASSIVITY
The forgotten Jewel


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.
There are many forms that Shakti (life energy) expresses herself as, and there are many forms that we live out and are occupied by in the fabric and weave of our lives.
We might be expressing or being impressed upon by a particular form of Shakti at the expense of another.
This depends on the karmas (actions) that we are involved in and creating.
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 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 and a rare jewel of even rarer inaccessibility.
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.

NIRAMBALA
& the Astral Level


Nirambala is a name of Shiva that implies the independent self-nourishing and self-supporting one.
The introverted fire of Soma is an internal glow that gives one strength of focus and ‘awake-ness’ upon the astral levels ( an aspect we shall explore in more detail on Naaga Panchima on our 25th of July ritual ).

By awareness and being awake in the astral layers of our inner life, we are able to undo knots of karma and unconscious shadows in the Granthis.

Granthis are the psychic and physical energy knots that the Yogis open by the science of a Tantra.
The Granthis are tightened by Agni and loosened by Soma. That is why Soma is known as the soft fluid.
Cultivating Soma creates liquid softness in  both the body and the psyche.
Over-stretching Agni creates heat and dryness.

It goes without saying, that an overemphasis on heating practices popular with modern styles of Yoga consumes Soma.

The yoga practices for a woman are radically different than those for a man, as the constitutions are different energetically. The man has a different relationship to Agni and Soma than the relationship a woman has two these two fires. This line of Tantra addresses the subject profoundly.

In present times we live in the Agni fire burns strong and stands in a predominant place. This makes the cultivation of Soma most applicable and most important.

SOMVAAHR
The Day of SOMA


In the Tantric calendar, the year is divided into two.
We are presently in the half that brings lengthening nights, this half of the year follows the solstice. It is the half of the year that belongs to Soma –  as nature is on her introverting darkening journey towards the next solstice switch.
This coming new Moon is the first new Moon embedded within the darkening half year of lengthening nights. It is the Moon of Soma and falls on Monday which is known to the Tantrics as Somvaahr, literally: the day of Soma.
Giving strength to the God of Softness and simplicity that Soma is. Soma is cultivated in simplifying our lives.

Somnath is a name of Shiva the eternal Yogi that 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.

CHANDRA PARAMPARA
New Moon Sequence


Like the moon that shines brightly in the night sky, Soma is cultivated in the dark.

The practice of Kechari Mudra has several preparatory stepsand we will practice some on this ritual. It is initiated and practiced when the Soma Moon is at its strongest.
This 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 and trance.
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 creates the greatest softening and flexibility in the organism, both psychically 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.

If you would like to join Monday’s healing circle

CLICK HERE

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 (5th 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 ( at the end of this email you will find a reference to the myth of Shiva and his devoted disciples).

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.

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


THE MYTH

of Guru Purnima

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.

This will be the mood with which we will approach the practice on the Guru Purnima Full Moon ritual…

Hara Ring….

THE MYTH OF KAMAKHYA

June 28, 2020

A TALE OF HONOURING
THE FEMININE

This will be a three day ritual & initiation course
of three hours per evening.

We will work with the very fuel
of the Tantric journey:
Desire.

– Boonath

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

 

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 was dwelling 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 and they are represented. 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. Ea h 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, and Kama shot the arrow straight in Shiva’s lingam, but again it had no effect.
The third flower was a Mango, 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 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 into flames 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 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 lifeless body of Sati fell to the ground 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 Tandava.

The Dance of Tandava 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 Tandava is a hath Yog practice that brings latent subconscious anger into motion. Tantrics danced 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 and are the pinnacle of destructive polarities within the soul.

When the situation goes so far as to bring Manobadra 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 sunk her 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.

Conventional Hindu religion 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.

Indian temples normally stay open all year round, but unique about the Kamakhya Tempe is that it closes its doors with the dark time and honours the Feminine rhythm of nature.

It closes three days a year for the menstruation of nature after the longest day 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.
Adiparashakti watched from beyond the veils. She still longed for Union as it is the force of nature that she was. She therefore took birth once again as Pharbhati, the daughter and 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 the beyond and 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.

May New Moon & the Crow of Tantra


“On the May New Moon (friday 22 may)
the Tantrics sacrifice themselves intentionally
& practice very harsh Hatha austerity
that is a great effort to execute (tapasya)
and raises unresolved issues.
The purpose being Healing.”

Boonath


The subject of the Crow Moon is extensive.
Here we endeavour to keep it within the Context of Tantric practice, using the name Shuni, Saturn and Crow interchangeably as they refer to the same one.

Tantric law dedicates this coming dark Moon to the Crow. 
They refer to him as Shuni the planet and God Saturn. Shuni Kah the Crow man, master of darkness and the unseen.
Tantra regards Shuni as the master of all the planets.
He goes by many names such as Babhru.
Shuni is the force of weight and darkness.
Taking the form of a dark intense man who rides upon Crow, Shuni is overbearing, majestic, mysteriously and fearsomely – punishing and spellbinding.

The Orthodox name of this festival is Shuni Jayanti,
Which refers to the Birthday of Saturn.
Religious rituals and offerings are made to appease the Planet Saturn who is known by the name Lord Shuni.
Prayers and sacrifices to lift relentless afflictions are paid for with austerity.

On this day the Tantrics sacrifice themselves intentionally and practice very harsh Hatha austerity that is a great effort to execute (tapasya) and raises unresolved issues.

The purpose being Healing.

This is the best day of the year in the Tantric calendar to work on your most obstinate afflictions.
Whether it is physical or spiritual or anything else. The Saturn energy opens a portal to the underworld and can release long entrapped spirits.
This is an ancient festival of India and is based on planetary currents and lunar and celestial constellations that make this work of facing the underworld more effective at this time than on any other.  

SHUNI KAH


Shuni Kah is the Crow man. He is tall with humanoid body and head of crow. He visits in dreams and is a good omen, terrifying but a friend.

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

The Crow is a creature of very special vision and sees people in another light. Crows shun those who Shun the Feminine underworld and in favour the solar plane.
A person who is in touch with their shadow will have crows eat from their very hand. 
There are some Tantric Shamans who have this Siddhi. 
They are the very powerful healers who are able to locate the shadows that create distress for people and bring blind dark spots to awareness in people so healing can ensue. Spending long periods in the dark gives one this Siddhi.

WHAT WE FEAR HAS POWER OVER US


What is refused must be met courageously. 
The shadow it may be called.
It is a dooorway to wholeness.
So called ‘bad’ arises
when the shadow is repressed & refused.

To cut the light from the dark is something that Lord Shuni will never allow us.
Saturn’s affliction gets greater the more it is turned from and unfaced.
Many of the remedies and rituals of India for appeasing Shuni are all about ways of getting us in touch with our repressed feelings.
Whether it is a ritual, mantra, gemstone or austerity.. the main focus of these things in relation to Saturn is that they are such as to bring an awareness of that which we do not see.
The Hatha Yog practices that raise the unconscious forces are undertaken at this particularly favourable moon phases. They are the inner and outer Crow Mudras and The Chaya Karana practices of the Shadow.

It does well to reflect on the matter of the underworld within us. We might have a lifetime of judgement upon this part of ourselves as an unholy or bad place, whatever we might think of it. The Tantric axiom of  ‘’What we Fear has Power over us’’, would be worth to ponder.

Shuni Kah is the Crow of the Dark Moon who has access to the never regions. He is the one in us to bring the eye to the underground sediment that toxifies our lives. If this unresolved sediment it is left in the unseen world there is no healing.
Shuni Kah the Crow and gatekeeper to the world of dreams is the grand healer.
Just singing his name is a powerful mantra that causes us to see in the dark.

The Mantras related to the Crow use specific bijas or seed syllables that activate the unconscious sides of our Chakras.
In Tantra they are secret Mantras that are carefully handled as they have very strong effect to arouse the latent spirits.
They resonate sound vibrations and activate the shadow Nadi’s (meridians). This is a an undertaking that must obviously be handled with care.
Much of the Tantric path of healing involves bringing the spirits that rule us from the unconscious to the eye of awareness.

TANTRA IS SLOW


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

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

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

In this way, Tantra shows us what we do not always see and also what we don’t want to see or perhaps fear to face.
When we pursue the practices of breath, Mudra and mantra, the energies of superficiality and rushing of body and spirit are brought to the slow pace of Saturn. Then the dark face of Shuni reveals that which dwells in the shadows.
Shuni sits on a throne of black bone behind the veils of boredom. He brings suffering and strife and throws the unresolved pieces of our life right in our path, some pieces are sharp and heavy and cause us to fall. To go on in the path the pieces have to be put in order and the burden must be borne.
 

THE ENTRANCE TO SATURN


The entrance to Shuni is through the femminine. His Mother is Chaya, the Shadow Woman, and his father is Surya, the Sun. His Mother was not able to realise her power beside her Husband, the sun, for his glow burned and make her feel overwhelmed and insignificant and so she fled leaving behind her shadow.
This signifies how the Feminine is brought into insignificance when the Solar or active force is ruled over her.
Having left her Shadow with her husband, Shuni’s mother whilst still pregnant performed prayers and yogic austerity to Shiva under intense heat. Her effort was so great and the heat generated became so hot that her child, Shuni, was burned black.
This signifies how heat and tapasya (yogic purifying Fire of austerity) reveals the darkness within the unconscious recesses of one’s being.
When Shuni was  born and seen in his blackness, his father was shocked at how dark he was refused to recognise him as his child, accusing his wife of being unfaithful. He raged greatly and insulted his wife. 
Seeing his Mother thus insulted raised Shuni’s wrath!

Shuni thereby cast a single glance
upon his father, the sun,
which made him lose all his light
and turned the previously radiant father
to utter blackness.

This represents the astrological impact of Saturn and why he is Known as the Dark planet, when he appears upon the sun in astrology all light is darkened and the unseen is hilighted.
Saturn has the ability to take away all light within us and take us into the parts of ourselves that have previously not been seen.

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

By seeing and addressing these forces, they are brought to the alter of the soul for healing.
The fact in the story that Shuni’s gaze Is invoked by seeing his mother insulted hilights a very important Tantric point that Shuni is the protector of the Feminine. His slow Tantric rhythm is punishing and crushing if the Feminine is not honoured.
Shuni means the punisher.
The subtlety of this symbol conveys how if we ignore the Feminine rhythms of our being we will face great darkness.
Tantric law is the protector of the Feminine mysteries that our civilisation and culture might blindly ignore at a price.
By following nature we become a Tantric and restore inner order.


NEVER IGNORE THE FEMININE


Shuni’s wife was very fine, she was from the from the star constellation Gandharva and was the grand mistress of all the Feminine arts.
This points deeper into his roll and connection to the Feminine mysteries. The one who by his slow dark rhythm allows the Feminine to open.
One aspect of his wife is so intimate with him that she lives within him in oneness.
The myth goes that once when Shuni was in deep meditation on Shiva his wife was menstruating (touched by the Goddess, as it is known in Tantra). She craved his attention and became angry and felt ignored as he was absorbed in samadhi.
The Feminine wrath was aroused and she proclaimed that his gaze be ever down cast and whomsoever he would gaze upon be brought to great suffering.
Thus Shuni’s gazes is ever down in the underworld and arouses suffering.
He Rides on the Crow and his wife rides on the Swan.
One is the bird of the underworld and the other is the bird of the Celestial spheres.

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

EXTREME AUSTERITY


Tantrics have since eternal times attempted extreme measures in order to become like Shuni, with roots.`  

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

Shuni is the most austere of all the Yogis.
All Tapasya (effort) is done in his name.
The myths tell of many yogis and gods attempting to reach to the stature of Shuni. But his rhythm is so slow that it is crippling and misses not a single thing.
When we slow down the rhythm to his – we see everything.
Shuni is the King of austerity.
Suffering may crush the heart but the crushing force is what makes a diamond.
There is no way around suffering. The diamond like stars that shine through the dark night sky take voyage through the dark. It is known as the path of Karma.

Suffering and blocks in our destiny are simply pointing us towards that which need to be resolved. And the path of Tantra can show us the way.

With Gratitude,

– Boonath & Kim

Power & Love, Father & Child
May Full Moon & the Quest for Balance


Today is Narashima Jayanti, the day of the half man and half Lion God known as Narashima.

Other than an outer astrological significance it also has an inner astrological meaning, for the mythology of the story is a very detailed and profound allegory connected to the world of the Solar Plexus Chakra and one’s hunger for heartless power.

Since ancient times,
the mystics of India understand that
the celestial constellations & planetary energies
have a mirror-like connection
to the inner spiritual cosmos
of each individual human being.

The corresponding energies of this day are to do with the Solar Plexus Chakra, or Nagmanipur Chakra, as it’s known in Tantra.

INNER & OUTER BATTLES


The tale of Narashima is the story of an ongoing battle between father and child.
Both father and the child’s names in this story mean ‘Joy’, for they were both possessed by great inner joy.
However, whereas the father’s joy was fuelled by a Solar energy, the child’s was possessed by a Lunar quality.
The difference lead to the father displaying an ego that tended to dominate for the sake of self-aggrandisement, whereas the child nurtured a hidden devotional power that displayed an introverted quality that lead him to withdraw.

Father & child were in a celestial karmic battle
between power & surrender…
a pattern that can exist outwardly
between the father & child
as well as inwardly
between our father/child archetypes.

THE FREEING OF SHAKTI


The Tantrics have codes for unravelling inner and outer conflicts, but the codes are not always obvious, nor are they meant to be.

Tantra is a process of decoding,
& concerns itself with the passing through many doors
& the opening of many coded locks
to liberate our inner power, Shakti.

Today the planetary constellations are in favour of resolving the Karmic obstructions that separate us from Shakti. It is a day for honouring our inner Fire!
In this story the lion god Narashima comes and tears out the intestines of the self-important father and frees the solar force (Shakti) which had become stuck there.
This slaughter symbolises the release of our ego from the illusion of self-importance.

AN AUSPICIOUS TIME FOR HEALING


When our focus becomes stuck in the Solar Plexus Chakra it then swallows up the finer currents of Prana that would otherwise carry Shakti to the Heart.
On tonight’s Full Moon in Scorpio and with the Lion-God on our side we wish you all to find the inner balance between Power and Love, Father and Child.

With Gratitude,

– Boonath & Kim

2 NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

April 14, 2020

Today is India celebrates the New Year in the Sun Calendar.
The Indian Calendar has a parallel of Moon and Sun that run in sync to each other.
There are two New Year days that comprise the calendar(s) in the ancient Indian pagan calendar: one for the Moon year, and one for the Sun year.
In this newsletter we hope to shed some light (and shadow) on this almost forgotten tradition and offer an explanation as to what it signifies to Tantric yogis in their quest for healing and, for lack of better words, enlightenment.
We hope you will find the reading of interest and use to you in these challenging times…

WHY TWO NEW YEAR DAYS


It is based upon an ancient Tantric honouring of both of these forces which are radically different and, in some ways, we could say opposing each other and yet together.
Hence these two calendars run in synchronised union. These forces exist within us and are mirrored in nature. Or the other way around, if you will.

“The Lunar New Year
started with the Spring New Moon,
and today the Solar New Year commences.”

This is a very detailed subject from a Tantric viewpoint.
But what does this New Year actually signify from a Tantric perspective?
Many points are raised by considering the Indian New year and we will touch on a few first and then endeavour to explain its significance from a Tantric viewpoint and present perspectives of how this day can assist us in the Tantric quest for Union.

UNWRITTEN TALES OF TANTRA


Recently we have started giving information of this Tantra line of Yog through our newsletters. These being small excerpts from a greater work we plan to publish in time.

A lot of what is imparted here
has not been written about before
& comes from the oral tradition
of Tantra in India.

It is important to know that the British rule left a big imprint and laboured under a long standing Vatican objective to eradicate Shamanic cultures the world-over – a mission that was first institutionalised around the year 1300 through the signing of a document titled the ‘Institution of the Crown’.
It is no surprise therefore that the New Year days, of Moon and Sun, have fallen out of favour and are not so commonly honoured or remembered even, amongst modern Indians.  Mainly the pagan folk and the Tantrics celebrate today. There are religious services and festivities in different regions that do celebrate this festival, some with an agricultural slant. It is much in the same way we might celebrate Easter. For example, some regions make a special sweet from mangoes on this day. The deeper meaning behind this offering and indulgence is that the mango symbolises the sun by its colour – It could be seen as the Eastern version of the Easter egg.

Only in relatively recent times has permission come to me to present such Tantric Hatha Yog principles. Yet translating  this wisdom into concepts that can be understood in Western terms has proven a phenomenal challenge. I feel my writing is most inadequate but the process if being ever perfected also through the close exchange with Kim who has been accompanying me on this journey and motivating me over these past six years of collaboration.

TANTRA, MODERNITY & CHRISTIANITY


India and the West are radically different cultures.

Spiritual Tantric concepts
and Christian moral values
don’t interact and intersect so easily.

It is important to know that the British rule left a big imprint and laboured under a long standing Vatican objective to eradicate Shamanic cultures the world-over – a mission that was first institutionalised around the year 1300 through the signing of a document titled the ‘Institution of the Crown’.
It is no surprise therefore that the New Year days, of Moon and Sun, have fallen out of favour and are not so commonly honoured or remembered even, amongst modern Indians.  Mainly the pagan folk and the Tantrics celebrate today. There are religious services and festivities in different regions that do celebrate this festival, some with an agricultural slant. It is much in the same way we might celebrate Easter. For example, some regions make a special sweet from mangoes on this day. The deeper meaning behind this offering and indulgence is that the mango symbolises the sun by its colour – it could be seen as the Eastern version of the Easter egg.

The occult understanding of India has known of the power of this day and that’s the reason behind pundits, astrologers and magicians prescribing this day to effect new ventures.
Note that the Sikh religion and military in the North India on this day centuries ago was erected and is orthodoxly celebrated.
For the Tantrics the meaning and ritualistic inflection of this day is rather more than a festival. It presents a magical doorway of possibility within the realm of healing one’s life. It is seen that a doorway that opens planetarily and aligns to a specific focus and spiritual / physical practice for working with and balancing the fire element.

WHITEWASHING & OF WESTERN YOGA


Modernity, as a political project of the West, has traditionally replaced the wisdom of Nature with secular, social and economic interest.

Even within the modern development of Yoga
there has been a whitewashing
of an ancient & detailed practice
that leaves out so much important information
– much of it not being available at a price
(ie: teacher training programmes),
but only through initiation.

Is it such a bad thing to absorb an ancient culture and put it out within our own terms, or should we go towards the original spirit and why?
Questions such as these are raised when we consider disappearing wisdom.
What are our own cultural terms? is a question that will bare much fruit both collectively and personally if we dare ask.

It is relatively easy for anyone to present the subject of yoga after a few weeks of training, and many well-meaning enthusiasts do precisely this – but equally many important stones may stay unturned in the reduction of a profound subject into the uniform we ascribe to it.
There are important things to consider in completing the wheel of yoga: points such as the effect of the moon and the corresponding moon practices, or the gender of the practitioner, which is of the utmost importance when moving and working with psychophysical energies.

Not surprisingly, in the predominantly patriarchal civilisation in which we live, many of the common modalities of Yoga are practices that do not suit the feminine constitution and can work counter-productively for the woman’s body and health.
Just like the disappearing remembrance and knowledge of the Indian New Year days, the disappearance of the wisdom of mantra and ritual is being forgotten in the modern Yoga band wagon that modernity packs itself full with in its attempt to transplanting ancient modalities and wisdom into the reductionist structure of modernity.

ILLNESS & IMBALANCE IN MODERN YOGA


The thing with psycho physical practices is that they can disorder the physical and spiritual system if not undergone with correct knowledge. A well-meaning or positive approach is no safeguard to destructive effects.
I’ve seen numerous times imbalances derived from modern yoga, among practitioners coming to this work and seeking help.

Disorder such as imbalance of menstrual cycles
and gynaecological problems,
because of sustained incorrect practices
such as Astanga yoga are not uncomon
and much work – from this Tantric line –
was required to rebalance the system.

For example, if a woman takes to practicing with regularity the masculine mantras and bija mantras that do not suit her constitution, she will invite problems of the reproductive and sexual areas of her body.
This can in turn follow the meridian to the knee and can present problems there too, and from there progress further into the body and penetrate the sphere of the emotions and the psyche. The emotions and the psyche are touched very deeply through psychophysical practices, it goes beyond the layers of the body.
The network of physical and psychic circuitry being intimately connected.

MODERN YOGA


The Solar practices (such as most modern styles of Yoga popular in the West) are not suited to all constitutions and can create heat which in turn creates hardness and increase heart rate – something we touched upon in the previous newsletter about Hanuman and Pranayama. This is especially increased if they are carried out at the unfitting time of  the season.
The lunar practices are for woman and invite fertility in many areas.
These practices are radically different from the male practices.

Some of the modern practices
incorporate moves
that can block the Heart meridians
& this works counterproductively
when working with the Breath & Heart,
both on the physical & psychic levels.

These are often practices that are implantations that do not come from Yoga but were developed along gymnastic type lines of training and got mixed in – Mark Singleton’s historical documentation of the influence of Western circus gymnastics on India’s modern yoga (‘Yoga Body’, 2010)is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject of the origins of modern yoga.

SOLAR & LUNAR PRACTICES
IN TUNE WITH NATURE


Tantra follows nature and prescribes Solar practice for both woman and man around this time of season.
The fire is brought into balance in the system by this, that is: the fire that has been slumbering in the dark months and perhaps entered into Tamasic (withdrawn) mode.
Generally working the inner channels of Nabi Chakra (belly button) and focussing on the colour gold is an injunction for stoking the fire element in the body. A (Tantric) mantra chanted repeatedly in support of this objective is the following:

Boo Hoo Boo
Boo Hoo Boo
Vajra Giri Lingam
Bum Hum Dum

Moon and Sun must go together so first a mention of the recent New lunar year. At the time of the Moon New Year (first New Moon after the Equinox – see Spring Full Moon Newsletter) the Moon energy is activated and favours the addressing of the soft rising feminine energies of the Moon through the Chakras.
At the middle of April each year, when the moon is half lit and half dark, the solar calendar commences. On this day the solar plexus Chakra is in balance. The rising warm season is upon us and the solar plexus is brought into activity now after a long Winter slumber – the solar plexus not being so active in the colder months.

Physical appetite in the solar plexus is strong in this time and it is a time to eat well but not to overtax the fire. Projects and activities started on this day are imbued with solar energy and can be brought to success by this planetary assistance. That is to say, the Tantrics believe that to set an intention on this day – if propagated with the effort of keeping the fire alive – will yield great results.

INTENTION & VISION
CHAKRAS CONNECTING THE TWO FIRES


The solar plexus Chakra is fully active when it’s in balance with the third eye.
The colour of the solar plexus is yellow, or gold, and the opposite colour in the spectrum is indigo, which corresponds to the colour of the ‘Third Eye’ Chakra.
The third eye is connected to the dark side of the Moon, and is at its maximum on the New Moon – that is when the Moon is entirely dark.
The third eye becomes a vacuum that draws up the energy at the new Moon.
The half illumined and half enlighted Moon on this day represents the balance of the Chakras that deal with fire.
The Fire at the Solar Plexus is called Agni and is a hot consuming flame. The Fire at the Third eye is Called Teja and is cool and known as Moon fire.
When this condition is unbalanced, or reversed, the sun moves to the third eye and the solar plexus becomes weakened as the dark moon takes residence there.
This translates into a busy mind and no strength – a condition we might be familiar with.
The old and highly esoteric yogic injunction to ‘raise the Moon in the day and the Sun in the night’ would be worth pondering over. Tantra says:

Set your spiritual vision of fire
& work for it from this day henceforth
to the result.
Be wise in the use of energy
for what the Heart truly needs.
To put the power for healing
is the code of the Tantrics.

Hara Ring,

Booonath & Kim

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