STANDARDS OF SPIRITUAL FACILITATION, BEING ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT YOU DO & TRANSCENDENTAL PERSPECTIVES

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One of the reasons why I don´t take the ´Love is Everything, We are all One, it´s Spirit´s Will´ argument as a default is because it´s so open to abuse. And it´s so easy to walk away from taking responsibility for our actions, with that principle.

Anyone can get away with anything, using that argument. If everything we do is an expression of Spirit – good, bad, ugly, beautiful, etc. – in its Mystery and Ways – then we go into the realms of transcendental acceptance.

Which means that everything is OK. And I mean everything.

Which, to me, is an expression of moral nihilism (you might call it ´enlightened´to the point where morality doesn´t matter, but same difference).

It´s not an incorrect view of the world, by any means – my contention is that it is incomplete.

I´m one of those facilitators who sees the need for greater standards, guidelines and codes of conduct within the section of spiritual aspirants that seek to guide or facilitate others in a formal capacity.

True, we all facilitate one another. But those of us who do this as a vocation or calling should have a set of standards or guidelines that we adhere to.

I´m not talking about certifications, titles or other accolades – but a general sense of – What is Ethical?

Maybe I´m just not at that transcendental level where I can ignore a breach of ethics in the name of Love, Spirit and Destiny – but I´m okay here for now :)

Let me give you some context:

We live in a world where you can become a ´Certified Shaman´ through taking an online course. Where you can call yourself a Soul Retrieval or Akashic Facilitator after 50 hours of going to a seminar. Where articles see fit to give you ´11 Steps to becoming an Expert Yogi this Summer` (I´m not kidding).

Dilution of the core content of these disciplines and paths of initiation/facilitation doesn´t even come close to what´s happening. Rather, it´s a process of distortion.

You then see facilitators, healers and yogis – as per their given certificates – go into the world and offer services that they believe they can provide.

And sometimes it helps people. And sometimes it lands them in the nut house.

(Premature activations of the kundalini by instructors who do not have the skillset to asses the client´s state of mind and energetic requirements come to mind, specifically).

As beautiful as the spiritual journey can be, it is a dangerous path to walk if you don´t know what you´re doing. Some of the long-term effects of facilitations gone wrong can (and do) last for years, if not decades.

I´ve come across quite a few of those cases in the work that I do and in my personal circle of family and friends. When you see the ruin that ungrounded spiritual facilitation can bring to a person and their family, it´s very … hard … (for me at least) to look the other way.

Getting back to the earlier argument:

The transcendental argument of ´All is Well, All is Happening as it Should, All is Love, All is Spirit´ lacks the moral content to say … well… this is shite.

People should be held to account if they´re taking the traditions of an older culture, diluting/distorting it and causing harm (often without intention or the knowledge that they do so).

Then again, I´m not claiming to be a Transcendental Being just yet 😛

But what I do see is the transcendental argument used in defence of a lack of standards in spiritual facilitation. Or worse still, a client-shaming approach, i.e. you should have tuned in and used your discernment. Or, it´s all happening as per your Higher Self´s Will, or, it´s your Soul´s Path, Choice or Karma.

I … am not comfortable with that … not in the slightest. My own work comes with a massive trigger warning label where I explain the potential effects to clients before getting into any work with me. Irrespective of how seasoned, experienced, popular, academically certified they may be (or not). I make them understand that what I do has its effects and consequences, where my (and their) responsibility begins and ends.

I also practice discernment in the clients I take on board because I need to be able to gauge whether a person will be able to handle the intensity of my work. And many cannot. It would cause more harm than good to subject someone to work that is of a deeper intensity than what they should/need exposure to.

This was a lesson I learnt the hard way, with a client who had all the external trappings of being a Teacher: a following, titles, etc. It was a very powerful interaction, but one which showed me the need to lay all this stuff out in total clarity, irrespective of who´s doing the listening. She hated her session and the mirror it held up to her, and of course made it all about me and my alleged lack of professionalism and skill. She and I must have had a powerful contract to work through this together as working with her (and her resistance to be seen) made my biological processes go in overdrive.

It took me a while to recover from that experience and the deep wounds it cut into me. For a long time, I blamed myself (as I tend to) and tried reaching out to her, only to be shamed over and over again. I blamed my body/energy field that took a beating from her resistance and intense force of denial. And I kept wondering what I did wrong and why I reacted to her energy the way I did. If I should stop what I was doing. If I was causing harm. If I was totally deluded, as she claimed I was. If I was not good enough.

The shift came for me when I realized what my mistake was. And to find that I had to look at the situation through the energetic eye, rather than the physical one.

My mistake was not practising that discernment in the beginning. I was too taken by the external trappings at that point of time. Else I´d have known she was not ready for the work I did. Of course when I tried to explain this … it made her go feral. (Yeah, I was a lot more naive then … )

The experience made me a far better facilitator, and one even more confident in what I did – once my ego-mind got past the external trappings (of following, title, labels) – and began to look at her – and me – at the energy level. If I had to look at her chart again today, I´d still have done the same reading of it as I did before.

I now hold a far more specific, focused energetic space than I did before – and readings are getting even deeper than before.

To be fair, at the time, I was walking away from a deeply narcissistic, emotionally abusive woman I had considered my mentor for many years. In retrospect, the clarity of self I achieved through this interaction helped me see that situation very, very clearly. And to eventually break myself away from it.

But the only reason why I reflected and learnt so deeply from this experience was because I took it seriously – and did not wave it off as ´her fault / client shaming´ or as ´the way of the Mystery´ *woo woo, cue mystical sound effects / X-Files theme song*.

I looked at it as a real human interaction and sought to hold myself as accountable as possible. And that is where my growth process came from. And yielded fruit.

So yes – that transcendental perspective of – everything happens for a cause/reason is valid. But it only has meaning when we look for one through a framework that brings it back to the Earth-Plane.

And that … dynamic tension is what, I believe, each and every facilitator who walks this world (and many others) would benefit from engaging with – if they do not do so already.

Tip: Work with Sodalite – it´ll help you discern your clients´ (and your own) energies before going into sessions

Blessings,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Image: Sodalite peg.jpg by Tillman at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission. See Terms of Use and Sharing above.

SHIFTING THE CULTURAL APPROPRIATION DEBATE: WHY YOUR DNA SHOULDN´T LIMIT OR DEFINE YOUR SPIRITUAL PATH

People appropriate their own culture.

The real issue is when culture is sold and the sacred commodified. Or when it is distorted or erased by ruling elites to secure their authority.
And truth be told, more people have probably disrespected the essence of the Gods and Goddesses here (in India) than anyone external trying to come in. And so much of those distortions have been internalized to the point that they are no longer questioned.

Tell me, is that not cultural appropriation? Are the members of a particular culture exempt from the claim that they take and twist what is and ought to be sacred to them for personal benefit?

I don´t think so …

Personally, I am of the view that the DNA that you are born with should not limit the traditions you choose to engage with – but if venturing outside, look for sources you truth, who can point you in the right direction with integrity. I mean … we started with One Source . Physically, Spiritually, Energetically. I don´t see why some people get access to certain forms of Spirit and others ought to be denied on the basis of their birth.

I think we might get further with the recognition that Souls cross gendered, racialized and ethnic lines. But at the same time, with that openness comes the need for discernment

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam​ PhD

Cauldron: On Politics, Power and Spirituality

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I´ve been thinking about the cultural appropriation debate and have recently found a way to shift my thinking around it – one that is probably a lot more just to many from Western cultures who are sincerely trying to understand the East (and sometimes do so more effectively than those brought up within it) – and vice versa.

A lot of you who enjoy my posts are certainly not embodying the God/dess as part of religious dress-up, you really do see Her-Him and honor Spirit in your Form and Essence. I do the same archetypes that go past my personal upbringing.

Mary Magdalene, Anubis, the Archangel Michael – these dudes/dudettes are part of my tribe – though I wasn´t raised to see them that way. And they are a part of my own personal, sacred work.

So yes, I get it  :)

But that doesn´t mean that cultural appropriation…

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MINI-ROUND OF SESSIONS (23-29 July, 2016) – Booking Slots Open.

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Hello everyone. Looking through my pilgrimage dates and, as promised, there will be a mini-round of sessions between 23-29 July between 10 am-6 pm each day IST (Indian Standard Time, GMT + 5.30).

For sessions, I require your date time and place of birth &  email address. Sessions are via skype, payments via paypal. If you prefer a phone session, depending on where you live, a small surcharge will apply.

Here are the booking links for each type of session – NOTE: Times shown match your computer´s time zones:

Minisession / Eris Awakens / The Vesta Special – 30-45 minutes:http://veribook.com/viewAvail/CRrmFRpVvc

111 Bubble Burster – 60 minutes: http://veribook.com/viewAvail/hrVsQyKmqg

The Middle Session – 90 minutes:http://veribook.com/viewAvail/xWKhHYBcnD

Astrology for Newborns & Children – 60 minutes: We´ve got to have a chat in advance to see if it is a fit for your child

The Soul Portrait Masterclass – 210 minutes: We´ve got to have a chat in advance to see if it is a fit for you

I´m fairly flexible with slot times and types of readings offered – so if you need something specific (themewise, timewise, etc.) just get in touch. I also do relationship readings but require the consent and ideally participation of the parties involved.

Details of each session and prices are listed here: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-pa

Please note that all Sessions are subject to the T&Cs as explained in the invoice and at the start of the session itself. You will receive an mp3 recording within a few days of your session.

Reviews: www.fb.com/theskypriestess/reviews

If you are not familiar with my work and approach, read this ´Why what I do isn´t for everyone a.k.a. something to read before booking a session with me´:

https://bairaveebalasubramaniam.com/…/why-what-i-do-isnt-f…/

I look forwards to hearing from you if working with me is in alignment with your journey.

The next round of sessions will begin in late August or sometime in September. Bear in mind that this mini-round lasts between 23-29 July. I will resume my pilgrimage from that point onwards.

Blessings and Love,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

 

If you have any questions, you can use this form. Otherwise, please book directly with the links provided above. T&Cs are explained below.

** Please note that none of the information presented within sessions is meant to replace advice from a medical, healthcare, legal and/or other professional. How you choose to act upon the advice given is entirely based on your own free will. Receipt and/or Payment of the sessions implies full acceptance of the Terms & Conditions as set out in the Invoice you receive when you book. All sessions are confidential, non-refundable, non-transferable and non-liable without exception.  You will receive a electronic link to an mp3 recording of your session.  With respect to this webpage, the author shall not be held liable from any intentional, accidental or other consequences of acting upon, sharing, or engaging with this information in any form. Use of this information or booking, purchasing and/or having a session implies tacit acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

Post and Image ´Blowing Bubbles at Victoria Memorial, Kolkata´ ©   Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

DRAUPADI´S TEMPLE: DARKNESS, POLYANDRY, SACRIFICE AND HEALING

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It´s a beautiful night in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Moon is nearly full and her glow brightens the night sky. I´ve just had dinner and am walking down a market street. There´s a sense of freedom and safety that I feel in South India. You certainly see a lot more women walking about by themselves than you do in the North, without the sense that you constantly need to look over your shoulder.

Something in my feet stirs and I feel a familiar pulse of energy in the land, calling strongly to me. I turn to my companion and ask him if there´s a temple about. Like a beacon, I feel Her calling to me, her temple pulsing through the soles of my feet.

And I find Her through my feet. Literally. Walking down Eldams Road, we turn into a small alleyway to find a 24-hour clinic. A few days ago I developed some blisters on my feet from walking around in my sneakers without socks on. There are little wounds that haven´t healed very well and are beginning to smell a little.

The doctor turns out to be a bright, curious and highly competent young Muslim woman, dressed in a fully-covered black burqa. She was curious about what I did as I explained I´d been travelling. I replied that I went to sacred places and wrote articles on women and spirituality and she smiled. It was a nice feeling to meet a lovely being able to exude that kind of intelligence, warmth and curiosity, breaking through several stereotypes in the process.

I take my leave and then turn towards the temple. I know I´m exactly where I need to be.

The temple itself is a very small, narrow, one-chamber building. There´s a black, seated statue of a Goddess with an uncharacteristic face. She doesn´t look peaceful, but not exactly war-like either. This of course is the Goddess Draupadi.

In the Mahabharata, Princess Draupadi emerges as a beautiful dark-skinned being from a sacred fire ceremony, conducted by her father King Drupada. She is also known as Krishnaa (female variant of The Dark One – contrary to the way she is commonly depicted in art and film) and is said to possess great powers, much like Lord Krishna himself. Unlike any other figure I know of in Hindu mythology, Draupadi is wedded to five brothers, the princes of the Pandava clan (protagonists of the Mahabharata). She is, in that sense, polyandrous.

Through an act of deceit (and godawful misogyny), Draupadi is staked as part of a claim in a game of dice staged by her husbands´ enemies (and cousins – the Kauravas). She questions the legality of staking her as a claim (as her husband had already lost himself as part of the bet). Nevertheless, she is dragged out publicly by force into the royal court. Some accounts tell us that she was menstruating at that time. Her enemies call her a prostitute on account of her polyandry and try to publicly strip her. She is saved through Divine Intervention (by Lord Krishna).

My sense is that much of the narrative has already been distorted. Many questions still linger around this powerful, enigmatic figure.

Draupadi, in one account I read, has the power to dissolve her enemies to ash through her gaze alone. Why did she not then do so in her time of need?

In ritual practice and worship, some communities continue to worship Draupadi as a Goddess, most notably (in South India) amongst the Vanniyar and other Shudra (allegedly lower) castes. In the temple I visited, I noticed two statues flanking the main deity – Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman (which was to be expected). A further statue sat facing the moolasthanam (central alcove) from a corner.

I asked my companion about this figure after I´d returned back to my room and he informed me that it was Aravaan. There are many narratives that surround this figure – but for the sake of brevity and focus – I´ll stick to a brief overview.

In the Mahabharata, Aravaan was a figure who willingly offered himself as a sacrifice so that the Pandavas would win the mighty war. He was said to be of Serpent (Naga) origin, as the grandson of Adi-Sesha (in some accounts). In the South, the offering of one´s body (self-decapitation) as the sacrifice to a Goddess goes back to antiquity – with goddesses such as Kottravai, Kali and Draupadi.

A different narrative links Aravaan with the Aravaani (transvestite) community. As Aravaan was a bachelor at the time of consenting to be a sacrifice, he yearned for marriage (and the rite of consumnation) before his death. One version cites his marriage to Lord Krishna in his feminine form (Mohini). Krishna-Mohini goes through the rituals associated with widowhood and beats his-her breasts in agony at the death of his-her husband. There are very few temples that honor both Draupadi and Aravaan and who celebrate and ritually enact this event each year through performance of ritual, dance, prayer and sexual activity. Aravaani-s transvestites play a significant role in the festivities.

Wikipedia´s entries on Draupadi and Aravaan are great starting places for further research into these traditions – for those interested.

What is also interesting is that I´d passed by Draupadi-Aravaan temples just yesterday on the train – confined to a very specific space in Tamil Nadu. I felt very moved by the lands I saw, especially as they are where my maternal ancestors come from. I had been thinking about the figure of the transvestite and of the great Serpent. These themes all come together through this temple and the figures therein – not something I would have known consciously beforehand.

Returning to the narrative – as I enter the Draupadi temple, I hear my favourite version of the Mahishasura Mardini Stotram (by the Sulamangalam Sisters) play in the background. I express my gratitude at having been guided there – for myself, and for a friend´s daughter in need – and have a brief discussion with Her on sexual politics and the politics of choice :) .

As I leave, I notice that the priest gave me and my companion some yellow powder, which is wholly separate from what you get at Shaivite or Vaishnavite temples. It wasn´t the grey ash (vibhooti), re (kum kum), sandalwood paste – or anything I´d ever seen before. The temple priest explains that he´s given us turmeric ground with raw rice and 18 herbs, bearing great medicinal and spiritual properties. Very unusual indeed, and very very sacred.

I leave the temple with a sense of fulfilment. She´s asked me to write about the experience, and so here She is:)

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Blessings.

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

The Dark Mother’s Children ; Honoring The Dark Mother: A Temple-Space; The Sky Priestess ; The Goddess, The Serpent and The Sea: Building Pathways of Light

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Image: Draupadi´s presented to a pachisi game.jpg – Public Domain vis Wikimedia Commons (Cropped from original)

Post & Photograph ´Draupadi Amman Temple´ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. Photographer: Mohan Nugula. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission. See Terms of Use and Sharing above.

THE CAPRICORN FULL MOON, 19 JULY 2016 – Legacy, Commitment and Power

 

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If Pisces is the Dream, then Capricorn is the Will to Make it Manifest. It is the energy of the lone mountain goat that surmounts incredible odds to make it to the solitary mountaintop, sacrificing so many creature comforts along the way. It is a deeply misunderstood sign and is heavily projected upon.

Capricorns are often stereotyped as being wholly unromantic, devoid of sentiment and entirely focused on achievement, ambition and power (at all costs). Whilst there´s a grain of truth to all stereotypes, that grain is often distorted. As a Capricorn, born to a Capricorn mother – I have had the privilege of witnessing what Love in a Capricornian form looks and feels like. It´s not cuddly, it´s not always that expressive – but it is focused and powerful. It can of course be used in a distorted form – but then – which energy is free from potential abuse?

Capricorn connects us, in a material sense, with the institutions of governance and the forms or persons we legitimate with status and authority. It addresses the relationships of power between those with differential access to resources, agency and control. In the case of the nation-state, it also includes access to arms and the ´right´ to use them. When it comes to the state and its civilians, it is often (if not always) an unequal relationship. With Pluto in Capricorn at this time, we also see an added emphasis on the institutions of finance and banking and how they (just as the state does) structure the life-cycle of individuals and society as a whole – for better or worse. With the Uranus-Pluto squares (2012-2015) we have seen widespread challenge to these institutions and a deeper shake-up of ´the system´ as we know it. The seeds have been set for change, and I look forwards to see the way it will all pan out.

Getting back to the present, as the state, (often autocratic) leaders, banks and other institutions that govern society (or appear to) have created so many imbalances in the world, people automatically distrust their power. What we forget is that these are institutions and individuals that have power so long as we continue to invest legitimacy in them (at least in a minimally democratic set-up). What has then ensued is a widespread distrust of power and status itself, rather than the recognition that in themselves – these are neutral things.

I would disagree with the phrase ´Power corrupts´ as it´s short-handed thinking.

Power in itself can neither do harm, nor do good unless wielded with intent.

What that intention is, comes down to you.

Wielding power in an ethical way takes a lot of groundedness, discernment and empathy. If your vessel is sound, go for it. Don´t fear it. Step up to the Dream and Dare to Make It Real.

The Capricorn Full Moon will go exact at 22:56 UTC time, 19th July 2016 at 27 degrees Capricorn. Look back to January 9th 2016, when we set the seeds for this event during the Capricorn New Moon. We will be asked to commit fully to something or someone (including the Self).

It´s a time to look at the long-term view – to understand what truly motivates us and what we are willing to strive for. An excellent time to consider the dynamics between home-career, mother-father, patriarch-matriarch and the various forms of relationships (and power dynamics) that society has asked us to live in (and accept without question). Changes in career, or your conception/relationship of whatever you´re doing with your life will be on the cards for many.

The key question is whether you´ve committed your energies to something worth doing and is that a legacy worth leaving behind in the world?

That need not be a huge project or giant aspiration, just a job well done. It may not be an occupation in the strictest sense of the word, but a commitment to an ideal or a particular role in life. For my mother, it was her children. For me, it is the work that the Dark Goddess guides me towards and the public-and-private partnerships that emerge to structure it all into being.

For you, it may be something wholly different.

* * * * * * * * *

Astrologically speaking, it´s quite a potent Full Moon as:

(1) The Sun and Moon are part of a GRAND CROSS, with Juno at 1 Scorpio, Ceres at 0 Taurus Nemesis at 21 Libra and Uranus at 24 Aries. Let´s just say that there´s going to be a lot of tense, dynamic and transformative energies at work that question where, how, why and with whom we form associations and invest our efforts and resources. We will also look at what or whom nurtures or smothers us and how we can, or might want to do the same (where appropriate). We will also consider the ideals by which we live and the decisions that either uphold or contradict our understanding of ourselves and the society we live in. This is a potent time for re-configuring relationship/partnership dynamics.

(2) The Capricorn Full Moon is part of a DOUBLE YOD (Fingers of Fate). The first yod lasts for most of July and involves Mars in Scorpio, Uranus in Aries and Vesta in Gemini. The second yod is formed by Mars, with Vesta at its apex. Mars sextiles the Capricorn Full Moon to complete the alignment. Again – long story short – karmic waters are quickening to a point of culmination and commitment. You will have the chance to make powerful decisions with long-lasting consequences at this time. Some of you will find older forms of commitment as no longer resonant – and will begin your path of re-discovery through the breaking of these forms. It´s a highly volatile alignment, to say the least.

(3) The Sun and Moon are in a KITE (GRAND WATER TRINE + OPPOSITION). The Sun trines Mars in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces. A powerful alignment that enables us to dig deeply into our wounds, fears and vulnerabilities. The unearthing of the Shadow. The healing (and revelation) of the Wound and its Scars – across Generations. The Moon opposes the Sun, making it the focal point of this alignment (much as an arrow appears to point forwards from a bow drawn backwards) – in astrology we call it a Kite alignment.

(4) The Sun is inconjunct the GALACTIC CENTER. Those with placements near 27 Taurus and/or Aquarius will experience this as a profound Yod (Finger of Fate). Any alignment with the Galactic Center brings us closer towards discovering Paths, Teachers or Teachings which resonate with a far deeper understanding of the Cosmos and the way we negotiate our Paths through it. Watch whom you are drawn to, or drawn away from at this time. All bear a significant message.

(5) VESTA opposes the Galactic Center. Watch for messages that challenge or reinforce the way you think about your Path of Service at this time. An excellent time to consider getting an astrological / other type of reading that guides or orients you towards discovering that Path. Choose a facilitator you trust.

My current round of sessions opens between 23-29 July 2016, however – if you feel you absolutely have to work with me now, just get in touch.

(6) Other Exact Aspects (within 1 degree): Pluto trined the North Node, North Node square Great Attractor, Eris squared Thereus, Venus trined Saturn, Saturn squared Eros

I hope that helps you navigate this complex energetic alignment.

Let´s choose to leave Legacies worthy of our Descendants. 

Blessings,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Post & Image ´Kali Drawing Photo, 18 7 2016 11:11´ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission. See Terms of Use and Sharing above.

SITA´S CURSE AND THE BEGGAR-WOMEN AT GAYA

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Today I tried to visit a place Sita´s Spring (Kund) today, across the river (Phalgu) from Vishnupath Temple. I say tried because I was harassed by panda-s (Brahmin priests) and random people cornering me into paying them money.

Whilst honoring a smaller alcove to dedicated to Saturn, one of them tapped me on the shoulder, interrupting my prayers – just so I would give him money. (Believe me, I am as aware of the way many Indians have turned their own religion into a toilet bowl … as I am in my other critiques).

It is little surprise to me that this happened so vividly here. I had a hunch it was coming.

Sita´s Spring is the location where Sita (from the Ramayana) curses the River Phalgu. Making a long story short, five witnesses (including the River) observe Sita offering food to her deceased father-in-law (Rama´s father). When her husband, Rama returns – she narrates the tale – as Rama´s realizes his father´s soul does not come to collect the offerings he later lays out (as he is satiated). With one exception, none of Sita´s witnesses corroborate her tale – all of whom she then curses: The Phalgu river, a Brahmin, a cow and a tulsi plant.

She blesses the one being who stood witness for her: the Akshaya Vatam (the banyan tree), when all else failed.

You can read a fuller description here –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalgu#Mythology

I didn´t visit the actual spring, having spoken to the land and felt its energy in any case – but mostly because I could feel Her sheer, raw power.

Then … at her sanctum sanctorum, a Brahmin priest had the nerve to demand money from me (for doing nothing at all – no prayer, no ritual, no nothing – they do that a lot …. ). I had already left an offering for the Goddess, but the demands kept coming.

The rain had just started to fall and I stood under a tree in front of a small shrine. A moment of silence. Stillness.

And something happened.

Normally, I´d just ignore them, but something in me Spoke.

WHY ARE YOU USING GOD TO MAKE MONEY?

They didn´t understand English, but I felt the shock wave reverberate.

I walked out. (As I have done in temples that abuse their presence – She seems to give me the thumbs-up when I do) – and on the way silenced a random Brahmin wandering around harassing the visitors for payment with a very, very stony glare. You could see the disgust in people´s faces – as all they wanted to do was to leave. (And no, he wasn´t a madman or anything – just throwing around what he perceived as his ritual status)

It is potent to note that Sita cursed the River that it would never flow full at Gaya (which is true), and that she Cursed the Gaya Brahmins to forever be unsatisfied, constantly craving and wanting more.

Her curse still holds true.

What surprised me the most is that the actual beggar-women sitting on the steps of what would have otherwise been a beautiful, serene spot made virtually no commotion or ruckus at all. We made some offerings to them and left.

It was strange. They didn´t act the way beggars at a temple normally would. In each of their haggard, twisted faces I saw glimpses of the Goddess.

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Post & Photo ´White Slab with Sita´s Footprints drawn in, 2016´ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission. See Terms of Use and Sharing above.

HEADS UP: Sun Trines Neptune, Inconjuncts Saturn, Neptune Squares Saturn (all within a 1 degree orb, 3 July 2016)

800px-Waves_crashing_over_rocks,_Porto_Moniz,_Madeira,_Portugal

Today´s an interesting day. The Sun (11 Cancer) makes its trine to Otherworldly Neptune (11 Pisces). In itself, this is enough to make us focus more so on the formless, nameless aspects of spirituality and what we may consider ´the Sacred´. If you have a body at 11 Scorpio or thereabouts, you´ve got a Grand Water Trine Activated in your Chart. Kapow!

Follow that intuitive compass, in any case :)

The Sun-Saturn (11 Sagitarius) inconjunct raises more difficult questions as to our deeper feelings and desires, what forms of collective identity we find a home in and how we relate to our ancestors. Saturn in Sagittarius seeks to find a paradigm, path or teacher that answers these more difficult questions, pressured by the Sun-inconjunct and its square to Neptune.

Stay open, stay fluid. There´s no need to find TRUTH that can´t evolve or shift in response to you. As much as I would like to believe in an Absolute form of Truth, the only Absolute thing about it (that I understand) is that it Evolves.

Those of you who have placements near 11 Taurus and/or 11 Aquarius will experience this as a powerful Yod (Finger of Fate). Karmic questions, experiences or dynamics are swiftly brought to a point of intensity, potentially culmination.

And the crossroads come, and there you make your choice.

The Neptune-Saturn square is ongoing. And all of us continue to head towards a Path or form of Truth that we believe will take us deeper Within, to Spirit.

Whether that is the case, however, is a different matter. Neptune is just as able to take you down the path of self-deception, just as it can take you to space/non-space of transcendence.

Exercises in self-reflection, or working with facilitators who can hold up an honest reflection to you – will be immensely beneficial at this time.

And remember – the New Moon (trined Neptune) is tomorrow!

Set your intentions wisely

Gemstone recommendations: protection (selenite), healing (clear quartz), clarity (smoky quartz / optical calcite).

Essential oils: Frankincense (protection and clearing), Lavender (calming) – remember to check for allergic responses before using anything new

Practices: Grounding, Earthing, Centering, Salt soaks for the body or feet (with essential oils if appropriate)

Explore these suggestions if you wish, but don´t let them limit you.

Blessings,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

The Sky Priestess

***

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Image: Waves crashing over rocks, Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portugal.jpg – By Paul Mannix [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission. See Terms of Use and Sharing above.