SHAKAMBHARI

January 7, 2021

The great nourishing Goddess.

Her name translates as the bringer of vegetation. She is twilight blue in colour and she brings the gift of herbs, fruits and vegetables to the earth.She is the revealer of nourishment and growth.She is the great mother of nurture who brings magical growth to the garden of our souls. 

The first rising half Moon of the year, 20th of January, signals the beginning of Shakambhari Navaratri, the nine nights of Shakambhari. For Tantrics, these 9 nights are a time of studying deeply the order and disorder of our inner garden. 

Shakambhari is depicted with a thousand eyes from which she waters the garden of our soul, reaching even into the most dry cracks and corners. She brings the latent seeds of our secret innermost life into flower.

Shakambhari’s powers culminate on the 9th night, upon the Full Moon of the 28th, when she is in her full power, on the day known to Tantrics as Shakambhari Jayanti. At this time, celestial forces are conspiring to begin awakening nature after her yearly sleep. Being ourselves part of nature, these forces act upon us and afford us an opportunity to tend our spiritual garden.

LAW OF EXCHANGE


The story of Shakambhari 
tells of the law of exchange, 
of the psychic & physical draught 
that befalls us 
when the reciprocal 
laws of exchange 
are not honoured.

Tantric cosmology tells of how the world of spiritual forces, intersects with the physical plane by a law of reciprocity. The spirits depend upon us for sustenance as we depend upon them.

If we dissociate ourselves from the spirits then we fall into psychic and physical famine as the story points out.

Shakambhari is also revered as the keeper of the secrets of herbs and their medicinal use, precisely because she mediates between the spiritual and physical world by means of the law of reciprocity. She reveals the science of healing by showing how a herb and a food has a different effect upon the system according to which Moon phase it is imbibed upon.

Shakambhari is the great balancer and nourisher, she balances dryness and moisture. The balance of dryness and fluidity in the human mechanism is of utmost importance to Tantrics. Tantra has a whole science of practices connected to working with dryness and moisture, by honouring the fluidic movements of the Moon.

When the psychic and physical nerves become dry there is not the capacity for the human organism to contain Shakti. 

Some substances and practices are extremely heating and create dryness, this is to be balanced by working with the Moon and especially working with the 3 fluids that comprise Soma, that is Milk, Blood and Water. Soma balances dryness and brings softness and the feminine into our orbit.

THE GREAT SPIRITUAL DROUGHT

Once upon a time a great draught was upon the whole of creation. The draught was so severe that it traversed the 3 worlds: conscious, unconscious and earthly. The Draught came into being because the people of the earth plane had stopped to give honour to the spirits and fallen into dryness. The fluid of Soma did no longer flow and in utter dryness Shakti did not have a place, for she lives in the place where fluid and dryness is balanced.

The sacred ways had been forgotten and the spirits who depend upon human interaction for their sustenance were drying out for lack of prayers and offerings. The dryness of the spiritual world was reflected upon the earth plane. All around things withered. As the spirit world grew dry, so did the earth, right down to the very underworld, the great famine enveloped.

The earthly plane is nourished by the milk (Kamakhya) the fluid of desire.
The underworld is nourished by blood (Kali, the fluid of time)
The upper world is nourished by water (Kala) the lord of death who takes us Northward.
Together these sacred fluids equal Soma.
The heaviest of the 3 sacred fluids is Blood, then milk, and then water.
The heaviest sinks South, whereas the lightest rises North, and in the middle is the milk of life.

The story tells of how there were few people remaining upon the earth who still knew of the importance of giving honour to the upper and underworld spirits. These last few adherents to the laws of nature and magic were the original Tantrics. Legend has it that together they formed a circle and prayed with their united concentrated spirits. They believed that Soma could still flow and heal all worlds. And so, upon the first rising half Moon of the uprising year, they gathered together in concentrated ritual and prayed to the Goddess for help.
The Goddess was nourished by their Love and longing and she took form as Shakambhari. She nourished them in return, for this is the Law of Exchange that is central in Tantra. 

Shakti (in the form of Shakambhari) found an entrance back to the earth plane through the middle line of the half Moon. Rituals of the half Moon are rituals of balance. 

The dividing line 
between the two halves 
of dark and light 
becomes a meeting place 
of polarities 
& a place where spiritual forces 
can be invoked.

Shakambhari appears on the half ascending Moon of Shakambhari Navaratri (20th of January) in response to prayer, and she comes into her full power on the Purnima (full Moon, 28 January).

Compassion & Nurishment

The story of Shakambhari tells of the importance of compassion and nourishment. She appeared with a body covered in a 1000 eyes and, as she saw the dried out plight of the creation, she began to weep tears of compassion for the suffering of the world. Her many eyes wept for nine nights, in which she poured Soma into the three spiritually barren worlds and restored full moisture by the Full Moon.

She brought fruit, vegetables and herbs, she restored the rivers and the seas and sprinkled the earth with flowers.

Shakambhari Puja is a ritual of finding that for which we hunger and thirst for, her ritual goes even further to look into the reason for the inner hunger,

Shakambhari can teach us the laws of nourishment and fortification. She brings healing to our relationship with nutrition on inner as well as outer levels. Shakambhari reveals to us the laws or reciprocity, that in order for the garden to grow, we have to water it.

If you would like to join the rituals

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LOHRI

January 3, 2021

Welcoming Back the Light

Amvasya | Dark Moon
Wednesday, 13th January 2021

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

To befriend, 
& become befriended, by Nature 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Views 
& the excessive fire of modernity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Witches & Pagans
Wisdom of the un-Civilised

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

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

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

Tantra 
is the uncivilised 
and pagan roots 
of all Orthodoxy.

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

Northern Talk

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

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

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

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

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

Rock your Baby

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

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

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

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

Honouring the Guest

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

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

The Dark 
is deeply tuned into 
around Solstice 
by Tantrics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First Dark Moon

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

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

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

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

Day of the Crocodile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tantra
Keeping the Spirit Alive 

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

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

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

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

In Defence of Magic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bhairav Astami

January 3, 2021

How We Waste our Lives Away

’But down in the underground
You’ll find someone true.
Down in the underground
a land serene,
a crystal moon.
Oh, It’s only forever.
Not long at all’’

Underground | D. Bowie

 

Kaal Astami is a time
in which to study
the deep dark layers of oneself,
shedding the outer layers
like a snake,
to reach the mysteries
beyond the threshold of time.

Time is indeed of the essence. It may contain the essence itself, but our time can be something devoid of magic. It then becomes something to waste away when it is barren of Moonlit Magic. Some of the modern rituals we repeat daily are worth our investigation. If something is repeatedly done with our concentration then it becomes a ritual.

Rituals
can both entrap
and liberate.

Kaal Bhairav ritual-worship has the potential to show us the most obvious – yet easily unseen – things of what we are doing with time. Or perhaps what time is doing with us…     When we align to the deep slow realm of Bhairav, he guides us into the invisible line between life and death, beyond the threshold of creation and destruction. Life and time, creation and death, all hold hands in the realm of a Kaal Bhairav.  

Kaal Bhairav
teaches the Wisdom of Death.
He shows us that
the creative spiritual impulse
is not free of Death,
for Creation without Death
is Stagnation.

Bhairav is a deep friend, liberator and protector, if he is approached in honour.
He holds the Danda, the stick of power. Dandapatti means the friend of ‘the stick’, or ‘the friend with the stick’.
It is the magic wand of the Wizard and broomstick of the Witch. It is the spine that flows with the dance of circuitry in the currents of life and death. It is the stick within grasp when we study the mysteries of Bhairav.

It is the stick
that carries the soul
across the portals
of life and death.

The stick is called Kankala Danda, literally the ‘skeleton stick’.
The stick of Bhairav gives the protection of courage to go under the surface of skin and flesh, right to the very bone of our lives. Bhairav asks us ‘are we here to live or are we here to die?’

THE RITUAL

YOUR STICK OF POWER


For this ritual you will require a stick of power. You may use a broom, or any stick you find. You may go out into nature on a magical quest and find one – or let it find you.
You might even be surprised and realise that you already possess one. Whether your stick is a broom, a wooden spoon or a crafted wand, have your Danda close to hand for this ritual.

On this ritual night, we will continue to work deeper with the Kankala Danda (skeleton stick mudras) which we begun in December to further explore the connection between life and death, and the ways in which we may be wasting our lives away.

The stick of power that Bhairav carries represents the measurement of time, it is topped by a skull that signifies the mystery beyond time.

The antar Kankala mudras
(inner skeleton practice)
are powerful in revealing
hidden magical realms.

Because Kaal Bhairav is obstinate, tenacious, terrifying and immovable by his laws, he helps reveal where we are obstinate, tenacious and immovable to his laws of Time and Death in our lives.

As well as teaching us
how to life,
Bhairav equally teaches us
how to die.

Many may be consumed with the issue of  ‘how to live’, but the tantric equally concerns themselves with ‘how to die’.

Bhairav can show us
the lessons we are not learning
and having to repeat
for lifetimes long.

  Hara Ring
To join the Ritual.

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BHAIRAVI JAYANTI

December 28, 2020

Creative Beauty or Destructive Creation

30th December | Full Moon

The days are lengthening
The solstice is passed
The nights recede by a sunlit mast
The first full moon of the rising year
Belongs to Bhairavi, who on this day is here.

Boonath

Bhairavi means the fierce one. Her beautiful face shines fiercely with the brilliance of 1000 suns, she wears a necklace of fresh severed heads, and the moon is on her forehead.

The sight of Bhairavi can be an ugly, frightening one. What starts beautifully can start to creep slowly if we lose honour of Bhairavi. Her lesson is about honouring the dark feminine power.The yogi watches carefully how they approach Bhairavi.

She uses if she is used,
she honours if she is honoured.
She is the mirror
of how we treat our life power.

Bhairavi is the fire that consumes, she incites power and passion, her destructive fire ingests creation in its flames. She is the continual destroyer of the three worlds (Earhtly, Conscious & the subconscious), for this she is called Tripura Bhairavi (“fierce in the 3 worlds”).

Her burning destruction allows for creation to take place. Necessary is destruction if creation is to go on.
Just like her lover Bhairav, Bhairavi is ever present, she is the fire that consumes our lives until death less than the shadow of ash.

Psychic Clouds
in our Inner Skyes

Bhairavi is the grand paradox.

She is beautiful and enchanting. Her beauty excites and calls out our life force as we serve that to which we are drawn.
But Bhaiiravi is also known as Kotraksi, which means the one with deep set sunken dark eyes. The more of our power we give away, the deeper we fall into her dark eyes, and the more ghostly her form becomes.

Bhairavi Jayanti Puja
is the study of that which
we give our power to.

We see this now as the solar fire in nature grows with the lengthening of days grows, previously nourished by the darkening season.
The night of Bhairavi is the time to study where we are giving our power, and where perhaps we are wasting our power by feeding corpses.

This Purnima (full Moon) is the first one of the rising half of the natural year, with its now lengthening days after having crossed the threshold of the solstice.
Bhairavi sits on a corpse as her vehicle, called the Savasan in Tantra.
The corpse does not move and neither does Bhairavi. But we move towards them. The more we waste our Shakti, the uglier and more fierce she becomes.

This is why she is the drinker of blood.

In this life we have to give our energy and life blood, living and loving requires the investment of Shakti, we have to make focussed effort to live, but sometimes it is not focussed, but obscured by psychic clouds.

Bhairavi is the one
who reveals the psychic clouds
in the skies our soul.

Bhairavi is the force that requires focus to face, she requires our involvement and relationship. She is the force of living and dying which both go hand in hand. 

It might seem easier to feed our power to a dead corpse than to Bhairavi who is the most exacting woman of all.

Bhairavi can be displeased easily, but the corpse will never complain, we can turn away from Bhairavi and complain into the ears of a corpse, but Bhairavi grows more frightening and ugly as we waste our energies on dead things.

In Frustration there is power

This might sound abstract, but simply spoken, this is what we do when we don’t use our energies well. For example, Complaining is something we might take for normal and necessary. It is easy to discover an injustice, if we look for it.

With our acquaintances, we might make coffee meetings with the intention of releasing frustration through unloading by complaint. The complaint might stand in the light of absolute justice and we might believe it absolutely necessary to speak it out.

Rather than internalising the power inherent in the frustration, we release it prematurely when complaint and being against something is not internalised but externalised habitually.

When we open
& start to touch & hold
the powers that frustrate
we prepare for Bhairavi.

It is prepared by facing deeply the origin feelings that are created within us, and not all too easily turn to complaint as an outlet.

These days there are many more ways of complaint perhaps available as technology seems to broaden the horizons of expression.

The practice of Bhairavi Jayanti is a subtle inner ritualistic work that honours the birth of the growing half of the year of lengthening days, with this first full moon in the bright half of the year we ritually come forward to the study of the habits and familiar ways we might be wasting our life force. Facing the gaze of Bhairavi with honour  on the other hand, requires us to harness our life force. A volcano builds its fiery forces in the dark, it follows the path of knowing when to restrain, sometimes it’s destructive explosions give birth to the new by destroying the old. Yet…

… to be like an ever emitting volcano,
leaving no power in the base
is the path of feeding the corpse.

On this night, Tantric’s have timelessly gathered in a circle of power. Together they have ritualised with the blessing of nature’s currents and practiced Antar Bhairavi Mudra in concentrated puja (ritual).

Bhairavi Mudra
is the deep investigation
of the harnessing, usage & wastage
of our life force.

Agni & Tejas in the 3 Worlds

Bhairavi is the opposite of Lalita, the second of the Mahavidyas.
Lalita Jayanti follows on February the 27th, on the Full Moon.
Both Goddesses have the prefix Tripuri (the three worlds) before their names.

Bhairavi is the consuming fire of Agni, and Lalita is the cooling fire of Tejas.
Tripuri Bhairavi is the consuming Agni fire of the three worlds, and Tripuri Lalita is the cooling Tejas fire in the three worlds.

When Agni and Tejas are in balance, they brew Soma, the psycho physical compound of spiritual insight.
The fires exist in the 3 worlds, that is, in the subconscious underworld, in the world of celestial awareness above and in the middle plane of the earth in between.
We live, move and have our being in these 3 realms. 

The study and balance
of the hot and cooling fires
in our threefold world
is a focus of the Tantric practitioner.

If the psychic fire within us is hot and emphasis is on the Agni, then the body will be heated and the breath and heart burning. If the psychic fire within us is focussed on Tejas (the cooling fire) the body will be cool with heart and breath rhythmical.

The fires must be balanced in the right measure to create Soma.

The movements of nature and the moon intersect with these two fires which are ever moving and reflecting the currents of atmospheric and lunar energy.

The balance of the two fires is the ever moving Yogic pursuit.

When Agni does not overly consume, then the solar plexus fire recedes from it’s all too often seat of dominance. Balance is then established and the cool fire of Tejas burns in the soma chakra and creates the psychic elixir of Soma in the 3 worlds that we inhabit.

The Soma chakra
is the other polarity of the solar plexus
and brews the downward glowing moon fire
from above.

The mantras for Soma and Agni are balanced in Tantra.

For example, the Mantras of Bhairavi exist as three syllables which are the 3 tips of the downward facing triangle at the base of our being. This triangle is her primal Yantra (symbolic and sound form).

Bhairavi’s heating mantras are the bijas (seed syllables) that activate the fire of the 3 worlds, one for the physical, one for the unconscious, and one for the celestial awareness. 

The 3 Bija mantras of Lalita on the other hand are cooling in nature, the mantras are combined in the right measure, and this measure is ever changing, just as the Moon is. Tripuri Bhairavi and Tripuri Lalita, together teach us about the destructive fire and the creative fire respectively.

They reveal to us how both the creative and destructive fires of our destiny are ignited.

If you would like to join our ceremony
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KALI PUJA

December 18, 2020

The Womb of Creation

Monday 21 December


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

– Boonath

Dear Friends of the Healing Circle of Shadow & Light,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KALI MANDIR

The Womb is the Temple

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

Kali Mandir
is the Tantric name
for the Womb.

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

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

HEALING

The Traumas of the Womb

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

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

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

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

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

SOMAVATI AMVASYA

December 8, 2020

DARK MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE

MONDAY 14th December

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

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

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

BLOOD, SEX & DEATH

The Tabooed Forces of Life

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

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

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

SOLAR ECLIPSE

The Spirits come to Heal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOMA

The Moon’s Healing Fluid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AGNI

The Fire of (Self-)Destruction

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRACTICES ON SOMAVATI

Honouring the Ancestors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maha Kaal Bhairav Jayanti

December 7, 2020

To Face One’s Own Death
Descending Half Moon Ritual

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

Boonath

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

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

THE DEEP DARK LAYERS

Of the Soul

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

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

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

IN FEAR

We find Devotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NORTH

The Direction of the Spirit


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

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

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

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


THE RITUAL

Investigating Death


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HARA RING  

– Boonath & Kim

DEVA DIWALI

November 28, 2020

& the Myth of Tripurari Purnima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE ASURA BROS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CITIES OF METALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FASTER THAN TIME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deva Diwali 
A Gupt Puja

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

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

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

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

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

The Arrow 
between breaths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shaadee Ardha Chandra Puja

November 21, 2020

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

L. CohenDemocracy.

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

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

RECAPITULATION

OF THE LUNAR RITUAL MONTH OF LOVE  

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

PURNIMA | 31 October


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

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

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

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

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

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

ARDHA CHANDRA | 7 November


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

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

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

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

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

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

AMVASYA | 14 November


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

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

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

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

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

NATURES RYTHMS


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

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

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

KAMALA JAYANTI
– Kamari Amvasya –

The Loss & Return of the Moon Goddess

On the November Dark Moon
Tantrics study the Ravan within themselves
That is, the part of us that wishes
to impatiently possess the Goddess
before we have won her hand and trust.
It is a night that has been prayed by Tantrics
since the beginning of time
for the return of the Goddess.
We shall meet to mourn her loss,
and celebrate her return
(if we have earned it)

Boonath

This Saturday, 14th of November, is Kamari Amvasya – also known more generally as Diwali, the festival of lights – without doubt, the biggest celebration in the Indian culture.

Amvasya is the absence of light when the Moon is dark, and Kumari means princess. Kamari Amvasya is the absence of the princess/Moon when she is stolen from the sky.                                                               

This night is the ritual time
when the active seat is taken
by the Kamar (prince) force within us,
which goes searching for Kamari (princess),
who has been swallowed by the dark.

The last Purnima (Full Moon) was the exact opposite, known as Kamar Purnima. When the inner princess went looking for the inner prince. This dark Moon is also celebrated as Kamala Jayanti, Kamala is the Goddess of Love, Jayanti is her birthday, an inner symbolism is there to ponder.

This Amvasya is the second Dark Moon in the very heart of the dark half of the year. The darkest Moon also known as Kali Chand. This ritual dark moon is an important festival in the orthodox tradition, and of great ritual significance to the Tantrics.
The planetary currents pose the challenge and incite the Tapasya (strength) of questing for the lost femmine.

The story of Diwali is a story of Kumari Amvasya, as can be seen upon Moonless reflection. It narrates of how the Goddess Sita is stolen away from her beloved Raam by the clutches of the powerful Yogi Ravan.
When Ravan stole Sita away, Raam – the great Solar power – lost his Moon and darkness and destruction fell upon the Heart.

THE EGO OF INFINITY


Ravan was one of the greatest yogis of unbelievable Shakti (power). He was a devout yogi who worshiped Shiva day and night until he acquired the power of Shiva himself.
Having identified so much with Shiva, Ravan himself became the object of his love and admiration.
The Shiv Tandav Strotra is a song that praises the beauty of Shiva as no other song does.
It was written by Ravan as he wept tears of suffering through the realisation of the greatness of Shiva.

Ravan was so determined
to become greater than Shiva
that he lifted the sacred mountain
upon which Shiva himself lived
as an attempt to show how
his individual self
was greater than the infinite mystery.

But Shiva was soon to show him a lesson.
The mountain came crashing down and crushed Ravan’s fingers for infinite aeons of time. Some even say that Ravan wept the Ganges into being as Shiva kept the mountain crushing upon Ravan’s fingers with the weight if his little toe.

Shiva crushed Ravan’s hand
out of Love for his devotee.
To teach Ravan that no one
can be greater than infinity.

Shiva is the great infinity beyond the beyond. The infinity that cannot be owned or assumed by any. An infinity to surrender and die by.

Ravan sang the most admiring verses ever sung towards Shiva as the weight of the mountain of infinity that no one can lift crushed Ravan into the most painful state imaginable.


THE SHADOW OF RAVAN


Despite the strong identification of Ravan with Shiva, Ravan still had one little part left that had not merged with Shiva.
Ravan had an avaricious weakness for beauty.
This avarice was void of grace and honour of the feminine. It was the crude hand of the patriarch that sought to dominate and possess the feminine.
This is what lead to his downfall.

Sita, the cool Moon Goddess
was a mesmerizing and receptive vessel
for Ravan’s powerful burning Shakti.
Ravan could not contain
the Shakti he had acquired.

So he went wild and lost his mind at the thought of the beauty of Sita cooling his burning infernos of manhood.
He therefore abducted the Goddess of the Moon away from her Beloved Raam with deceit and force.

When Ravan stole Sita away Raam – the great Solar power – lost his Moon.
Darkness and destruction then fell upon the world and the Heart. But Ravan had overestimated his power!

The Love between the Goddess & the God
was bound together by the sacred breath, Prana,
known to the Yogis as Hanuman,
their loyal attendant and friend,
the monkey God.

Hanuman is also called Pawan Petra, which means the child of the Wind.
The story tells how Hanuman through the fearlessness evoked by his devotion to his Beloved Sita and Raam, rescued the captive Sita and brought her to her place of balance

The symbolism inherent in the story
reveals how it is the breath
that balances the power of the lovers
within ourselves.

It is the breath that reveals the secrets of Love in the outer world. The breath Heals our relationships, for the breath holds the emotional codes of behavior. The yogis call the psycho/physical energy knots in the breath – the Granthis. Tantra attempts to approach these knots.
The breath can resolve the concurrent Love lives, that we have lived in past, present and future.
Hence, Hanuman Ji is the one who brings the Lovers together.

The story Goes through many twists and turns before the Lovers we’re united by Hunumans devotion.
At one point the story narrates that Hanuman needed to bring a healing herb from the Sacred mountain, he was not able to find it, and So he brought the whole mountain with him.

When Ravan was not able to lift the mountain with all his might, how was it that Hanuman not only lifted the mountain, but flew with it across the land?
Because Hanuman lifted the mountain, in the name of bringing the Lovers together, he had the great blessing.
And, so Sita was brought back to Raam by their loyal attendant, Hanuman the monkey god.
And in bringing Sun and Moon back into balance Hanuman restored Love on Earth.

An endless array of lamps
were lit by humankind
to guide the flying Monkey God Hanuman,
carrying Sita under his arm,
back to Raam.

THE POWER OF THE BREATH


Hanuman represents Prana, the Breath.
Hanuman restores Love and harmony on Earth by breathing the Moon and the Sun back together and therefore overcoming the destructive forces of the fire of passion that had possessed Ravan to dishonour the feminine. This resulted in the failure of the feminine and the masculine to live and Love in equal measure.

When the Shakti
is mistreated in such a way
that brings imbalance in our system,
we can no longer control her
and destruction (rather than healing)
becomes our fate.

In Tantra Yoga a balance is sought at all times to bring the masculine and the feminine, the Sun and the Moon, the Light and the Darkness, and the Active and the Passive, in perfect balance. Yet, in a world in which the active, male, solar forces are so dominant, more attention needs to be given to the feminine qualities, which is why the Tantrics have been worshipping the Goddess for aeons.

This inner and outer balance between the male and the female is, in a nutshell, the meaning of Hatha Yog – Ha, implying Sun, and Th, the Moon. These are equally designations of Kamari and Kamar. The Kama in both their names is the desire that longs for their opposite nature’s to meet. Hence the Tantrics honour the twilight meeting.

Like a million lamps burning in the darkest night, this is the Tantric night of deep prayer for the feminine.
Might it be prayed with tears?
Might it me prayed with amorous force and desire?
It is a night that has been prayed by Tantrics since the beginning of time for the return of the Goddess.
A chance to move towards the inner princess is offered upon this sacred night.
On this powerful dark night,
We may meet to mourn her loss, and celebrate her return – if we have earned it.

To find out more about about this current lunam phase governed by the Goddess Kamala, read also our posts about Diwali and Shaadee.

And if you would like to experience an authentic tantric ritual, join one of our online classes!

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