Fatal Attractions: Cycles of Pain and the Karmic Choices we Make

cornelia_the_vestal_virgin_entombed_alive_surrounded_by_bo_wellcome_v0041753

 

You were sacrificed before. Maybe many times.
Your soul got used to it, Maybe you thought it was ´normal´.
You´re trying to do it again.

Short, but an answer that has deep resonance, especially for those who resonate with the archetype of the sacrificial virgin / priestess. Unpack it a little more, and you find your own reasons.

In this context, ´normal´ doesn´t mean good, bad, desirable, healthy, unhealthy, hateable – it just means that you got used to a certain vibration. And internalized it. Perhaps it´s a fixation to break through it, perhaps it´s a conviction that it´s true, or good. Perhaps it´s a need to understand it.

Whatever it is, it´s an attachment to a particular experience. And the soul attracts people, events and opportunities to once again re-live it.

Truly, it´s an argument you can make for any type of karmic lesson that keeps appearing in life. Sometimes it may seem like an unlucky streak ´this always happens to me´ .. i always end up with that kind of person ´, or really, anything that you just find yourself pulled towards without reason or explanation, as though by magic. Sometimes it´s a nice kind of pull, but more often than not – it tends to reflect what we see as our wounds, weaknesses, vulnerabilities.

Karmic attachments are things that exert a powerful pull on our psyches as we seek to understand the why and wherefores behind them. We subconsciously choose these experiences in a bid to gain a more complete experience. Ultimately, to transcend the need to experience it entirely (so the theory says).

These choices we make, which we mystify as ´karma´ , are buried in the subconscious. That doesn´t mean they are beyond our ability to understand and ultimately move past.

It´s time to stop mystifying and romanticizing choices that lead us unto paths of pain as being somehow fated, destined and/or sacred. Or simply things that we cannot change in ourselves.

Whether it´s the past-life trauma of being sacrificed or persecuted, or wounds that surround any kind of recurring lesson surrounding pain – taking a step back to understand why you may be making those choices does help. It stops you from feeling like the Universe hates you, or as though you are some pawn of Fate, moving without your own free will.

For me, at least, that has been one of the deeper realizations of my life thus far. At the day-to-day level, it has helped me to question those things which I felt drawn to, like a moth to a flame – as though I were being drawn into something I could not (ought not) question, or walk away from.

And many of the choices I have made, from taking that moment to detach – from realizing that I had a choice to let this energy into my space, or not – have led to healthier life choices. Ones that have made me feel more fulfilled as a woman and a spiritualist.

There are of course, inexplicably beautiful and powerful moments in which our souls attune to experiences of the Sublime. Those are, for me at least, qualitatively different from the karmic attractions that lead on down repetitive cycles of wounding, grief and a sense of limitation we normally associate with ´spiritual karma´.

I suspect we will see more of the former and less of the latter the moment we realize the power of our own choices in co-creating all that we experience, with whatever it is we consider the Essence of the Sacred.

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

Image Information: Cornelia, the Vestal Virgin, entombed alive surrounded by bones in the dungeon. Line engraving by G. Machetti after B. Pinelli – See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.

Visiting Raja Kali Amman (The Royal Mother Goddess Kali) & A Wish

DSC00605
I love this sculpture of the Goddess. She´s calm, powerful, centered and a beautiful representation of Love. My brother visited the place for the first time today, though I´d been there a few times before.

I bought Her a garland of flowers with orchids in them and spoke to Her for a little while. It´s a coming home, in many ways.

She´s housed in a very unusual temple, whose walls are covered by colourful, reflective pieces of glass (inside and out). Whilst this is not the major idol in the moolastanam (sanctum sanctorum), this is the idol of Kali-Ma used for rituals during New and Full Moons. Haven´t participated in those yet.

My ardent wish was to one day, see a Priestess in that temple in full time-service. That would be fitting. What we have now is two male priests. They tend to her with reverence, but still, one of Her daughters ought to be there. Perhaps one day that daughter will let me garland Her myself.

Let´s see what She´s got planned 🙂

Blessings,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess ; The Goddess, The Serpent and The Sea: Building Pathways of Light ; The Dark Mother’s Children ; I AM Rising: The Goddess Awakens

Image ´Rajakaliamman JB, Feb 28 2016´ and Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use without prior permission. Feel free to share for personal, non-commercial use with all links/text intact.

 

A few notes on Jupiter … (26 February 2016)

PIA01527_Jupiter's_Violent_Storms

Hm. Jupiter Retrograde (19 Virgo) is doing quite a few things right now, namely:

– inconjuncting Uranus (18 Aries)
– squaring Saturn (15 Sagittarius)
– trining Pluto (16 Capricorn)
– opposing Chiron (20 Pisces)

Between February 26 to March 19, Jupiter will form the apex of a Yod (finger of Fate), formed by an inconjunct to Uranus in Aries and transiting Mercury, Venus and Pallas Athena in Aquarius. Let´s just say many messages of awakening will come through for individuals, and the collective at this time.

And on top of all of that, it´ll be within a few degrees of the North Node throughout this period. (and the fun continues with Jupiter through 2016… I can assure you… )

To summarize, pay attention to opportunities for growth, expansion and identification of pathways of abundance (more so than normal). These are likely to focus upon matters to do with how you perform your acts of Service, Healing and equally, Self-Sustenance / Self Preservation. Have a look at your natal charts (if you have access to them) and see which house this part of Jupiter occupies (16-19 Virgo). That will give you a greater clue as to its focus.

A word of caution, Jupiter brings excess. It amplifies energies. You do get a chance to say, well .. I need to balance all this with other things in my life, or something like that. If you´re feeling this energy too heavily, to the point that it´s making growth impossible – look to its opposite (Pisces). Virgo´s energies relate to mental faculties and the activation of the nerves. When that´s overstimluated, that can become a problem in itself. Pisces suggests a simple, but powerful solution to that: Sleep, or Dream-State Processing.

Through this period, make sure you do your best to align your sleep cycles with your natural rhythms. It´s not always possible, but your best efforts here will pay off greatly in the long run.

Just a couple of notes I felt like sharing.

Blessings,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.
Image: PIA01527 Jupiter’s Violent Storms.jpg – By NASA/JPL (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA01527.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.

Osiris / Isis , The Magdalene / Christ, Kali / Shiva – ARCHETYPES OF THE DIVINE MASCULINE AND FEMININE AT PLAY IN THE SKIES (25 February 2016)

Artist's impression of an ultra-short-period planet
I´ve been listening to the skies, and a very clear message is coming through: In the bid to Awaken the Feminine, the Masculine cannot be neglected. This is represented by (at least) three different exact aspects present in the skies now.
For reference, I understand the Divine Masculine and Feminine as energetic archetypes present in all beings, irrespective of species, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, belief system, and so on. They play out in different ways depending on other factors – like how much weight we ascribe to the fixity of gender, how we were raised, what our respective cultures told us being a ´man´ or a ´woman´ looked like – and so on. The three aspects we´ll discuss are:
(1) Eris conjunct Siva (22 Aries)
(2) Osiris (12 Sagittarius) – Magdalene (13 Sagittarius) – Great Attractor (14 Sagittarius) conjunction
(3) Vesta (24 Aries) inconjunct Mars (26 Scorpio)
Eris refers to the force of the Awakening Feminine able to exist As-She-Is, irrespective of the shackles placed upon her by an outmoded status quo that fears her presence. I see her as the agent of Chaos, strongly resonant with some perspectives on the Goddess Kali-as-Destroyer. She (Eris) is conjunct Siva, the asteroid representing the energy of Lord Shiva, the Masculine complement to Mahakali.
In mythology, despite his ability to destroy All of Creation with the opening of his third Eye, Lord Shiva demonstrates love thorugh acts of self-sacrifice (very Christ-like in that sense). He swallows the poison of the Great Serpent to prevent it from destroying the Universe, he lays down (in surrender) to Mahakali as she dances in her bloodlust. She awakens out of her frenzy when realizing that her foot now stands on her husband´s chest. There are multiple interpretations of the latter event, depicted as Mahakali standing over Shiva in a corpse-like form, smeared with cremation ash. (I quite like the narrative which takes it as a form of play, where Kali-Ma´s in the mood and Shiva´s playing hard to get 😉 ) Either way, it´s a complex interplay of energy between the Fierce Feminine and the Compassionate Masculine. They both seek acknowledgement and embodiment at this time.
The same dance of the Masculine and Feminine also comes through the second aspect discussed here – Osiris conjunct Magdalena and the Great Attractor in Sagittarius.
Osiris, of Egyptian mythology, refers to the form of the Masculine that is dismembered by his brother Set. Isis, wife and sister of Osiris goes into the Underworld to find him once more. She searches for the torn pieces of his body and crafts him a new phallus, replacing the only piece she cannot find. This theme resonates powerfully with the Archetype of the Dark Feminine Nurturer, able and willing to enter the Shadow realms to heal her Masculine Counterpart. We see the same story repeated, from the Feminine perspective, in the form of Magdalena.
Astrologically speaking, Magdalena represents the energy of Mary Magdalene – the consort of Christ, now increasingly recognized as his spouse rather than the abhorred prostitute condemned by the Church (till she was then recognized as a saint). Yes, you´d have seen that in the Da Vinci Code, but it is supported by research. The British Library also has a Hebrew scroll that indicates Christ´s referral to the Magdalene as his companion (meaning wife, in those times). I suspect this perspective will gain greater credence over time.
The Magdalene´s energy brings the message of Radical Self Embodiment, to be True to the Self irrespective of projections (or stones) cast by others. To be purely and wholly true to one´s sexuality, feminine presence and being. In a time where patriarchal belief systems had already begun to denigrate the presence of the Sacred Feminine, being the Magdalene was (and still is) a revoluationary act.
Personally, I perceive Her energies to be profoundly healing, nurturing and incredibly powerful – quite Isis-like, in fact. There´s also a strong case for comparing the mythology of Osiris with the Christ narrative. I see them as analogous archetypal pairings reflected across different spiritual and religious systems of belief and practice.
Together this Divine pairing speaks to the Masculine in need of resurrection, nurturing and healing by the Dark Feminine, able to work in realm of the Shadow, to render Him whole once more. Kali and Shiva´s interplay speaks to similar archetypes, but ones that play out in different ways. In some traditions, Kali – as the Crone Dhumavati – devours Shiva when she is hungry. An interesting variation.
It is also interesting to note that the Great Attractor is conjunct the Osiris – Magdalena pairing. The Great Attractor (14 Sagittarius) represents a gravitational anomaly in space that acts much like a black hole without an event horizon – it ´pulls´ you towards a path or teaching (or away from one, as it happens). It focuses our collective engagement with certain Paths or Themes in search of a Greater Truth – though we may individually respond to the same impulses very, very, differently.
AIn other words, the sacred interplay between Masculine and Feminine is, whether we realize it or not, weaving itself into the Paths we choose to take and embody at this time.
At the personal level, I see both aspects discussed above also mirrored by a third: Vesta (25 Aries) inconjunct Mars (26 Scorpio). This operates at a more physical, tangible level as Mars is a personal planet, representing our ability to act, to follow our passions and drives and seek out our desires. It also refers to our significant partners, those who play the more masculine role in the relationship. It may also be represented by a male (or carrier of masculine energy) in a non-partnership context. In Scorpio, the energy of the Yang (Masculine) Archetype seeks to direct itself to penetrate the layers of the sub-conscious, into intimate spaces of alchemy, destruction, and transmutation. It´s a powerful placement for Mars, and one that it will return to, in early June and late July of this year – owing to the Mars retrograde (April 17-June 28, 2016).
Vesta represents the Archetype of the Priest/ess of Facilitator. Devoted in her Service, Vesta keeps alive the Sacred Fires of Life, Creation and Intimacy. In Aries, her focus is upon rekindling the Sacred Flame within the Self and the Truth that then emerges. In practice, Vesta calls us to truly and fully embody ourselves – as we are (much like Eris) – except that she realizes this is, truly, her best route or Path of Service. Embodiment.
The inconjunct between Vesta and Mars challenges the expression of both energies. Vesta is in the Cardinal Fire sign (Aries), and Mars in the Fixed Water sign (Scorpio). Fire and Water do not readily mix (in classical understandings of the elements), nor do the modes of Cardinal (energy that takes a new direction, initiation) and Fixed (energy that seeks to hold its signature). It takes a third point to make the energetic connection into a Yod (or Finger of Fate). Interpreting that all together:
Vesta inconjunct Mars tells us that we´re looking for ways to resolve question of how to Embody the Path of the Awakening Priest/ess with more immediate concerns of how we express our intuitive and emotional depths, intensity and need to concern with respect to the Masculine. There´s a lot of deep work and karmic density coming through with our relationship with the Masculine at this time, and how it relates to the larger process of Awakening the Feminine. They´re not disparate processes, and rather, they need to connect in ways that allow one to be honored and recognized by another.
Those of you with placements near 25-26 Virgo or Gemini will experience this as a Yod or Finger of Fate. Those signal karmic decision points, powerful conduits of energy that can accelerate and/or intensify the spiritual journey you´re on. Wowza!
Even if you don´t have those points readily activated in your chart, the Vesta-Mars inconjunct is prodding you into an awareness of the Dance of the Feminine and Masculine – echoed by Eris, Siva, Osiris, Magdalena and The Great Attractor.
In fact, I found myself staring this message in the face, repeatedly, during the ongoing Eris Awakens Sessions. It kept coming through, over and over, and over again. They must both Dance.
Considering the Mars (April 17 – June 28 in Sagittarius and Scorpio) and Saturn Retrograde (March 25 – August 12 in Sagittarius) later this year — we are, as a collective, going to need to weave the story of the Wounded / Nurturing / Healing / Compassionate / Sacrificed-and-Resurrected Masculine in the awakening of the Feminine-in-all-Her-Forms.
This would of require a re-thinking of the way we relate to men and women in our lives, but equally, a conscious effort to recognize the interplay of these archetypes within our own consciousness and associated energetic lineages.
Blessings to All,
Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.
Image: Artist’s impression of an ultra-short-period planet.jpg – NASA, ESA and A. Schaller (for STScI) from http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0612c/
Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.
Info on the Eris Awakens Session available at this link.  Cheers! 🙂

NESSUS , HYLONOME & PHAETHON´S LESSONS DURING THE VIRGO FULL MOON (22-2-2016)

Resized

 

The Virgo Full Moon was a weird one. Its energy signature differed strongly from what one would normally expect. True, the role of the Facilitator, and its logical-pragmatic-analytical focus on detail and the daily grind was present – but so was something else. It wasn´t quite like a ´normal´Virgo´ signature (whatever that means anymore). Whilst Uranus-Pluto was cited as a likely cuplrit (so to speak), and that can well be the case, I would like to offer an alternative explanation. **trigger warning**

During the Full Moon, the Sun was conjunct Nessus (2 Pisces). Nessus is one of those asteroids which I involuntarily wince at when I see it strongly aspecting a personal planet during my readings. In mythology, Nessus reflects the energy of the abuser, one who violates the space of another, often through sexual means. In mythology, Nessus seeks to abduct and rape Deianeira, the wife of Hercules. Hercules manages to kill Nessus, but not before Nessus convinces Deianeira that his blood will ensure her husband´s loyalty to her. Long story short, Deianeira falls for the con and ensures that Hercules comes into contact with Nessus´ blood, leading to the great hero´s death.

At a symbolic level, the overt predation of Nessus is visible in the myth, as is the more energetically insidious effects of the poison, hidden in his blood. There is great irony in the fact that woman whom he intended to violate should then offer her trust to one so undeserving, ultimately leading to the tragedy of her husband´s death. So there´s a lot more going on here than the simple ´Nessus is a jerk´ narrative.

Whilst I don´t subscribe to victim-shaming in any form, Nessus teaches us that – whilst the actions of others who seek to cause harm to us are not our fault – there are certain vulnerabilities (gullability, naievete, etc.) within ourselves that we can first address.

The experience of Nessus on a personal planet can quite literally feel like a sense of violation, or, even numbness, i.e. a perceived energetic disconnection. I like Christine Sarah´s take on Nessus as the indicator of where Eros (our sense of intimacy) is most wounded. She makes the argument that this is where we feel most disconnected, and equally, where some of the greatest healing can take place.

Nessus in Pisces conjunct the Sun (3 Pisces) intensifies the emphasis on the abuser-victim and dynamics of obsfucation or manipulation, veiled in Piscean Shadow. A different alternative, as I see it, would have been a greater awareness of the kinds of ways in which we allow / have allowed ourselves to enter situations of great vulnerability, coupled with potential abuse. Some may see the roots of their own ability to play the role of the abuser in an intimate sense as well.

The Virgo Moon (3 Virgo) itself was under heavy strain, as part of a Grand Earth Trine with Phaethon (4 Taurus) and Hylonome (4 Capricorn). Phaethon´s energy resonates with that of the self-destructive teenager, recklessly and impulsively acting out his/her (perceived) distrust of the father figure. He did not know that his father was The Sun God, finding out the truth years later. Hylonome refers to the woman who impales herself upon the spear that her husband, Cyllarus, was killed by. Cyllarus himself rushed into some situation beyond his ability to handle, again, upon pure impulse. Both placements speak to a lack of restraint, and a deep sense of distrust. Phaethon distrusts his father and Hylonome simply does not believe that she can live without her husband. Phaethon recklessly drives the Sun Chariot and is killed by Zeus lest the former destroy humanity, Hylonome and Cyllarus both die because they act upon pure, unmeasured, impulse.

Virgo´s ethos is to heal, serve, preserve and find pragmatic ways to keep the routine of material life manageable. But even she has her fuse, and one that is likely to have exploded with the kinds of insights Sun conjunct Nessus brought to the fore from Pisces. Some may have found truly balanced responses to the deep, and profound spiritual recognition that would have come about – and others may have reverted to Virgo´s shadow – that of the hyper-critical, nit-picky neurotic. Perhaps a combination of both. The lessons of the Moon were further intensified by Phaethon and Hylonome´s respective positions.

Now is the time to seek out deep medicine for wounds surrounding the Father / Patriarch, the deep lack of faith or distrust of Spirit (particularly if one has suffered profound wounds), the idea that one is ´alone´ in the Cosmos (linked to the former) and generally, with issues surrounding the victim-abuser dynamic.

That alone tells me it was a whopper of Full Moon for many. Bear in mind that some will be unusually sensitive to these dynamics, whereas others, on different journeys, will have a different experience of the same. It´s hard to pinpoint what the experience will be like at the individual level, particuarly with detail-blurring Pisces involved 😉

Blessings to All. This energy remains in the skies for the next three days (at least).

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

 

Post & Image ¨Mist in Monserrat, 2016¨  © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.

A Virgoan Interpretation of the Virgo Full Moon (February 22, 2016)

John_Collier_-_Priestess_of_Bacchus
I have to admit I´m pretty surprised by the general thrust of the articles I´ve been reading about the upcoming Virgo Full Moon. There´s the ´don´t critique yourself too much´ , the ´you are perfect as you are´ , the ´surrender into acceptance ´ narrative and so on – things which I associate more so with Pisces. True, Neptune opposes the Virgo Moon at a 6 degree orb – but the opposition is more a call to balance the Virgo-Pisces axis, rather than to move into Pisces completely.
Virgo is of course the Priestess or Earthly Facilitator. Her role is that of a sacred vessel that channels the energies of spirit whilst being able to discern what´s what with full use of her mental and logical faculties. That role of the micro-managing organizer who puts every detail into place isn´t something to be overlooked or glossed over, it is in fact, her strength. What makes her able to serve in this material reality. Her critical faculties remain sharp in the face of the beautiful illusions and harsh truths that Piscean waters beckon her to channel and intuit.
And that is what i´m missing from the discourse right now – and generally speaking, from the larger ethos of ´New Age´ spirituality. The role of the critical, analytical mind is often downplayed for fear that it limits our abilities to accept, surrender and ´Be One´. The latter sounds more like a recipe for brainwashing, rather than spiritual awakening. If Oneness requires the lack of intellect, perspective and critical agency … it sounds like a strange place to be. (Which is why I think this is more a fear-based human narrative, rather than any Universal requirement)
In short –
  • Stay grounded, do the little things that support your work, and keep your mental faculties honed.
  • Pay attention to the voice of the Inner Critic as she just might have something valuable to tell you.
  • Yes, you´re bringing in the Divine Waters of Spirit into your Sacred Being, but not everything that looks or claims or pretends to be Divine necessarily is. 
  • Use discernment, even if others project upon it as being ´condemning´ or ´judgemental´.
That´s their issue, not yours.
I will be doing a longer post on this closer to the exact moment of the Full Moon.
Image: Priestess of Bacchus by John Collier (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons)

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.

RADICAL, AUTHENTIC SELF-EMBODIMENT: Lessons from the Finger of Fate (Yod) involving Mars, North Node, Jupiter and Vesta-conjunct-Eris

Radical Self Embodiment

Authenticity. Truth. Awareness. Being. These are our contemporary spiritual buzzwords – and for good reason – as that same message beams to us from the skies, coded in astrological alignments.

A few days ago, we saw the mighty Eris-Vesta conjunction, one that dared us to break through the many layers and forms of social conditioning that told us that we should never be our truest selves. This is especially true for women and for men who recognize their connection with a Deeper sense of Femininity. Be it the nurturer, the assertive seeker of justice, the avenging Goddess, the compassionate Mother – whatever you resonate with. What has been hidden or suppressed is now ready to be revealed and fully embodied.

Eris is the Goddess of Chaos, whereas Vesta is the Goddess of the Hearth or Sacred Flame. In Aries, they both encourage us to express and experience different forms and levels of Be-ing, Using the metaphor of flame, one represents the raging forest fire, and the other, the steady lamp that lights the home and hearth. Both are necessary, both are valid, both are aspects of Being. (and everything else in between)

In short, the Eris-Vesta conjunction is a powerful call to radical self-embodiment, where we are no longer constrained by these societal ´rules´ that tell us how to Be, and forms of Femininty we must or must not express.

Both Eris and Vesta are a part of a powerful Yod (Finger of Fate). They form its apex, connected by way of inconjuncts (150 degree angles) to Mars, the North Node and Jupiter. Essentially, Yods are powerful funnels of karmic energy and alchemy. They push you to make certain key choices and karmic decisions, accelerating and intensifying your spiritual growth process to a powerful degree. They can be profound catalysts of life-changing decisions, precusors to spiritual awakening.

The experience of a Yod can be harsh, particularly if you resist the changes it pushes you to make at a deep, sub-conscious level. Yods can be quite fun and energizing if you view them as opportunities to step out of old cycles and consciously choose your process of energetic engagement with the Cosmos. At the end of the day, it boils down to a matter of perspective. 

This particular Yod began on February 8 and will continue to have effect till February 24, 2016. Let´s look at the other components of this alignment:


Mars´ role at 24 Scorpio tells us that the way to develop and discover this Radical sense of Selfhood is through the domain of the sub-conscious, and the ancestral or karmic lineage that we bear. We look to the energy and assertiveness of Mars in recogizing karmic patterns that relate to the way we seek intimacy, control, power and resources (financial, sexual and otherwise). Much of this ties in with the way we have been taught to relate to the Masculine (Yang) Archetype, be in through self-expression and/or projection unto our partners. Mars in Scorpio can seek power through conquest, manipulation, violence and other forms of control – this is when it operates through the Ego. At a more realized level, Mars in Scorpio can seek true power through the act of Surrender. Not necessarily to another, but as an act of honoring the Depth of the Self, and its connection with the Sacred. Much of this energy will focus upon lower-chakra work, our archetypal connection with the Shadow Domain and the Underworld and/or the Sub-Conscious. Scorpio´s energies relate to alchemy and the reactivity of energies or elements, be it in the boardroom or the bedroom. The merger of resources catalyzes the creation of something new, often through the destruction (and transmutation) of its component parts.

The North Node and Jupiter (20-22 Virgo) demonstrate how our path to greatest growth, spiritual evolution and personal expansion is linked with the need to preserve and nurture the material requirements of the self (before being able to serve others). Be it through the act of facilitation, organization, logistical management, or the need to take care of the ´little things´, i.e. the nuts and bolts of daily existence – Virgo tells us that through the seemingly mundane, we discover new ways to materially and physically sustain whatever newer forms of power/intimacy (Scorpio) and being (Aries) we seek to explore and embody. It is especially important to recognize the need to take care of the well-being of the physical vessel through daily routines, ritual-work and other material acts – so that it can truly serve. Whether it´s 5 minutes of deep breathing, chanting, earthing, or a bi-weekly salt soak for the feet, or making sure that you´ve got a roof over your head and healthy food to eat – whatever way, no matter how ´trivial´ it may seem as compare to the the ´larger questions´, this is where Jupiter (the Teacher, Revealer of the Path Ahead) and the North Node (A Chance to Break out of Old Karmic Cycles and Begin New Lessons) tell us to focus upon at this time. Bear in Mind that Chiron (18 Pisces) opposes Jupiter and the North Node, pressuring us to more fully look at the archetype of the ´wounded healer´ and the role that the ´wound´ has played in our understanding of Service thus far. Perhaps it need not play the same role as it had before.

This is linked with a far larger question on woundology, and how we have been taught that association with our wounds is somehow elevated, more spiritual and/or saintly. I´ve discussed this elsewhere, but here´s the argument in a nutshell.

For too long have spiritualists and facilitators been told that they must live from hand-to-mouth or suffer physical depravation and/or to pedestalize suffering and woundedness in order to truly be ´holy´. Perhaps that was the marker of sainthood in an earlier age, but it seems me that the ethos of the current age is decidedly different. That is not to say that true acts of surrender and sacrifice are not sacred, it is to say that there are other roads or paths to spirituality. We need not be confined to one.

Returning to the North Node and Jupiter in Virgo, following from this logic, we are asked to explore the idea of taking care of, or preserving the self first so it can be self-sufficient. We are shamed into avoiding this as it would (allegedly) make us ´selfish´. I find that a strange argument as a healer who has him/herself taken the time to heal, get grounded and perhaps even find happiness – is more likely going to be able to better help another through the process. In this sense, self-preservation, starting at the most everyday level, can only empower you further as a faciliator.

Taking it all together, this Yod enables us to penetrate through old-paradigm dogma, and to discover and experience a more fuller sense of Being. That doesn´t have to be all rage, anger and roaring fire at the status quo, it can just as well break through into a more compassionate heart-space where Radical Self-Embodiment is Radical Self-Acceptance. There are many ways this can play out, so feel free to explore what works for you.

I should also mention that the likelihood of seeing a health crisis emerge or erupt as the catalyst to awakening is also present. Scorpio rules healing and Virgo health – they both focus on Aries (the Self). Give your bodies time to adjust to the awakening process underway and feel free to take plenty of rest (you´ll be processing in your sleep anyway).

In conclusion, I would like to share something from an Eris Awakens session that just concluded. What I witnessed was so beautiful, fragile and powerful that it will forever stay with me. The lady I was working with experienced a beautiful breakthrough, an absolute moment of clarity that visibly showed on her face. From a place of deep anger, she moved into a far calmer heart-space, forsaking none of Her Fierce Femininty, but becoming far more open to embrace a more fuller expression of All-That-(She)-Is. It was quite a beautiful thing to witness, and it´s still sinking in.

What a powerful time we live in.

Blessings, and I hope this article has served as a guide to understanding the powerful energies of this Yod.

May we each find our own paths to Radical Self-Embodiment, in ways that harm none and create greater beauty, in Self and the Collective.

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

Image: Composite of Astrolog screenshot and ´The Priestess´ by Louise Welden Hawkins, 1890, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions of Use: Feel free to Share this post on FB or reblog it on WordPress using the appropriate buttons for personal and noncommercial use. If you represent an organization, institution and/or seek to use this work for any purpose, please contact me in advance. If using this material for your own written work, please cite as appropriate. Thank you.

For those of you who would like more information on the Eris Awakens session, please use this form and ensure your email address is entered correctly so I can reply to you:

CURRENT ASTRO-HIGHLIGHTS (Energy of the Week Ahead: Feb 18-24, 2016)

SoD 18 feb

Feb 8 – 24 : Major Yod (Finger of Fate) involving Vesta, Eris, Uranus, Mars, Juno, The Moon, North Node, South Node, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde and Black Moon Lilith. Long story short – we are asked to explore new paths of Service, at times releasing paradigms, paths, teachers who no longer resonate with the same. As we do so, we are called to explore the various archetypal energies that reside deep within the sub-conscious. Some may be drawn to deeper shamanic work and/or energetic awareness that takes the influence of ancestry into account. The role of the Dark Goddess is heightened as part of this alignment, as She asks us to seek a form of Balance and Justice that honors the Self – as a new Path, or Embodiment, of Service. Many will be developing a new relationship with their perception of the wounds they have borne, and in a general sense, with the wounded healer archetype. I have written elsewhere on how this awareness is part of the larger wave of awareness that the Age of Aquarius seeks to instill within us, as we move away from Pisces´ legacy (with its gifts and its burdens).

Feb 13 – 15: Grand Sextile / Star of David Alignment involving North Node, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Chiron, South Node and The Moon. In terms of more commonly known bodies, this is a Near-Perfect Grand Sextile, with the ´missing´point between 16-23 degrees Cancer. The asteroids Thereus (relationship with victimhood-abuser dynamics, perceived entrapment, fears, etc.) and Urania (connection with astrology and astronomy through the Goddess) are at 16 Cancer, completing the Grand Sextile. The Grand Sextile or Star of David alignment is a six pointed star. It appears as a smoothly connected series of six sextiles, housing an upward and downward facing pair of equilateral trianges. Essentially, the Grand Sextile alignment hands you a blank cheque from the Cosmos that says: Manifest what you will. This can work both ways, depending on how well you work with the energies of the alignment, and how they relate to your personal natal, or progressed, chart.

Feb 18 – 19: Grand Sextile / Star of David Alignment involving the same bodies above, minus Mars, but with Juno instead. The Moon is now in Cancer, making the ´missing point´ between 16-23 Taurus. The asteroids Eurydice (agency, codependency, relationship with darkness and descent) and Hera (projections unto the feminine, the forgotten goddess, the controlling mother archetype) are at 19 and 20 Taurus respectively, completing the sextile. Sedna is at 24 Taurus, quite notably – her energy asks us to consider the wounds of abandonment, betrayal by masculine energy, and the process of rebirth that accompanies the surrender of descent.

Feb 18: Sun enters Pisces. For the next month, our attention is more strongly pulled towards matters of spirituality, surrender, sacrifice, past life karma, the mystic´s path, the role of the wound (particularly those that are difficult to recognize), and so on. A powerful time to be inspired by the formless, ever-shifting energy of the Cosmos and its Mysteries.

Feb 22: Full Moon in Virgo. Look back to the previous Virgo New Moon (13 September 2015, Solar Eclipse) to see what seeds you set into motion that you will now harvest. Matters of health, service, chastity, ideas and ideals of purity, organization and the daily routines of life will come into greater focus. A powerful Moon for those who serve as Priestesses or other types of Sacred Facilitators.

All in all, it´s going to be a very energetically intense week!

Bear in mind that Vesta is now conjunct Eris, and the Uranus-Pluto-Black Moon Lilith T- square is still exerting a powerful influence in the skies.

Also – for those of you who are interested – I have begun a new type of session called Eris Awakens. Do get in touch if this piques your interest.

Ciao!

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

VESTA CONJUNCT ERIS (22 ARIES): THE LAMP THAT LIGHTS A HOME MEETS THE RAGING FOREST FIRE

Priestess

Blessings to all. Vesta, the Goddess Asteroid of Priestessing now meets Eris, the Dark Goddess of Discord (I read it as Chaos) at 22 Aries. This is an extremely powerful alignment that affects us all, particularly those who identify strongly with the need to Serve and/or Embody the Fierce Feminine. I´m going to begin this piece with a mythological analysis of Eris, followed by the astrological interpretation.

Unless you´re over the age of 80, you´ve got Eris in Aries. The mythology of Eris shows her to be an exiled, snubbed, feared creature – Daughter of the Night, the Creatrix of Strife. Much of this is linked with Eris´exclusion from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, and subsequent events that led to the Trojan War. Essentially, Zeus (uber-patriarch) thought that Eris would be a troublemaker at the wedding and so excluded her (and her alone) from the guest list. As part of her revenge, Eris threw down the Golden Apple of Discord at the wedding feast, inscribed with the words “for/to the most beautiful”. The Goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athena each claimed the apple for Herself. They turned to Zeus, who refused to adjudicate, and later to a shepherd named Paris. Paris was already known for his fairness in prior dealings with the gods. And so the Goddesses stripped themselves naked before him, offered him bribes (talk about a male fantasy narrative) and asked him to declare who was indeed, the fairest. Paris eventually took Aphrodite´s offer – the chance to marry the most beautiful maiden in the world, i.e. Helen of Troy. And all of that led to to the Trojan War. It is interesting to note that the great warrior Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis (whose wedding kicked off the whole thing), is famously killed during that war as well.

Let´s just say the Apple of Discord packs a powerful generational punch.

Now, bearing in mind that much of Greco-Roman mythology is deeply patriarchal – it´s easy to see why a woman who would not ´fit in´ with the rest of the gang would be seen as troublesome and something to exile or avoid entirely. It´s easy to see why she gets projected upon as something that causes Strife, when – from a different perspective – her actions actually lead to far larger-scale events that change the course of history (or herstory, if you prefer). I´m pretty sure Eris would not have stripped to find male approval of her Beauty, nor would she have paid to receive that validation. In that sense, she is the Dark Goddess – the Fierce, Feared, Forgotten Feminine that Patriarchy seeks to stamp out. It seems to me that Eris, as an agent of Change, shakes up the status quo in ways that disallow unequal or unjust dynamics of power to persist. That of course depends on which level of consciousness we understand Eris operating from: at the personal or the collective level. We do not know if she cast the Apple of out sheer spite, or if she did so to reveal the vanity and weakness of the Gods themselves.

That being said, She´s probably my favourite Greco-Roman Goddess. Rather than Discord, I see her as a force of Chaos. The necessary energy that destroys the old – no longer in need, or in imbalance – to make way for the new. That kind of change is frightening for most people. Especially if they know they´re holding onto a world, or worldview, that is starkly out of balance with their sense of truth, authenticity, power and Selfhood. That comes through especially with Eris´ position in Aries. Unless you´re over the age of 80, you have Eris in this sign in your birth chart.

Now, let´s have a look at Vesta.

Vesta is the Roman Virgin Goddess of the hearth and home. Sacred flames lit Her temples, tended to by her Priestesses, the Vestal Virgins. Whilst Vesta was a goddess, her concerns were seen to be purely Earth-based, focused on the material, day to day concerns of the here and now. Some ancient scholars equated her with the Earth itself, whilst others argue that her role was that of a Protector. The sacred flame of Vesta´s flames were seen as the spark of the life infusing and sustaining the entire community. There´s plenty of symbolism associated with Vesta and her importance in the ritual life of Roman civilization. It becomes interesting to see if, or how, these themes play out in astrologically analysing Vesta and her placements.

Personally, I would like to believe that Vesta´s flames and the all-woman Vestal Virgins had access to the women´s mysteries and a metaphysical understanding of creative, sexual life-force (i.e. kundalini energy). Perhaps that theory will be confirmed, we´ll see.

The Vestal Virgins were an all-woman college of full-time temple priestesses. They were chosen as girls from the patrician class between the ages of 6 to 10. The moment they took their vows, they were freed from the control of their father. The Vestals enjoyed a greater degree of freedom than other women of their time, however, they had to stick to an absolute vow of chastity for 30 years. They could then choose to marry if they so wished, but often did not as marrying one who had committed herself to the Goddess was seen as unlucky.

The punishment for violating the chastity code was to be buried alive or having molten lead poured down one´s throat.

Quite a powerful disincentive.

Bear in mind that my understanding of the Virgin archetype has less to do with the idea of not having sex, and more to do with having sovereignty over one´s own sexual, creative and reproductive faculties. Some authors also associate the Virgin with the idea of Virgin Birth, i.e. Parthenogenesis. But that´s a different piece for a different time.

The Vestal Virgins also performed other duties, such as the preparation of a kind of sacred bread (mola salsa) that was sprinkled upon animals prior to ritually sacrificing them to the Gods. They also officiated over public events, tended to the temple´s sacred fire and participated in the preparations for various feast days (e.g. Roman New Year – March 1, Lemuria – May 13, Vestalia – June 7-15, and so on).

Coming back to astrology …

In Aries, Vesta brings our focus, intensity and passion to the cause of the Self. That Primal, Fundamental, Wordless understanding of Who You Are. It is that Spark that arises out of Nothing and puts all into Motion and Being. And that flame is called to burn brightly.

With Eris and Uranus in Aries, these fires have been lit for some time now, particularly with the Uranus-Pluto squares. So many of us have begun to rapidly accelerate in our process of Awakening and Self-Knowing.

Vesta calls us to Serve the Self. To allow it to awaken in ways that resonate with your deepest impulses and most primal sense of who you are. In your bones, in your gut, in your womb, in the parts of you that feed back into the Void. That is the place from which your Sacred Flame begins to burn.

But what do you Feed the Flame? What allows your inner, sacred Flame to Burn?

There are three ways of looking at that. One is through the external use of energy, i.e. through sacrifice of other objects. In the past, that would have been animals. Another is through an inner process that – like the Vestals – sees power accessed on the condition of restriction. A third way, perhaps the one that appeals the most to this current generation – is to feed the flames with an expression of your own passion, your own being, your own sense of self.

In terms of the Priestess & Goddess Movement, I see many of use who resonate with the Archetype to trying to find ways to negotiate between the 2nd and 3rd option. Especially as so many have been taught that sanctity and purity can only come through self-negation, suffering and sacrifice. But that is a far larger question that what we´re discussing today.

We live in a different age than the Vestals did. We need not serve in a ritually prescribed form as they, nor do we need to suffer such punishment for transgression. We can now find different ways of being True to the Sacred Fire Within, without sacrifice – in the older sense of the term.

In the day to day level of reality, Vesta in Aries refers to a need to fully Embody one´s being, so that one can in fact, discover new ways to Serve. Sometimes Being is simply Enough. Others can see Vesta in Aries as a call to disown the Self or to deny it, one that resonates with older ideas of what a priestess ought or ought not be.

What you choose is ultimately, what you resonate with. Each road will lead you someplace.

Getting back to the astrological conjunction –

The energies of two mighty Goddesses come together as one. The rage of Eris and her outrage at the injustice of the world and status quo awakens us with a mighty roar. Vesta appears, with her calmer, albeit, more sustainable fire – as if to say –

Yes, Dear Sister. Roar. But don´t burn yourself out. Rage. But find a way to make it real. Embody. But find a way to weave into into the everyday.

Eris herself turns towards Vesta and questions her in turn:

But why dear Sister would you limit yourself to the words of men? To laws that would punish you so? Why would you boil yourself down to a single pinprick, a singularity? Why not simply Be – Untamed, Wild, Uncontrollable … and Free?

The difference between the two, borrowing a phrase from someone dear to me, is between the lamp that lights a home, and a raging forest fire. One is intensely personal, and the other is at the collective level. Each has its place, its purpose and potential. This conjunction brings with it a chance to find a path of mediation , a reconciling of the two. I suspect this process will be more visible at an internal level.

Some of you might simply feel more grouchy or irritable today. Others might try to let it go without getting to the root of it. Some others will look for the deeper lesson and in so doing, potentially re-acquaint themselves with a Self they thought they lost. There are many potential ways this can play out. I´ve shared my experience with this alignment in the Postscript below.

Those of you with placements near 22 degrees Aries, Libra, Cancer or Capricorn (Cardinal signs) will feel this alignment intensely! Eris and Vesta are also making a sextile to Kassandra and Damocles (23 Aquarius). Those of you with placements near 23 Virgo will be experiencing a powerful Yod or Finger of Fate. One that challenges you to speak your truth, claim your mantle of power – or step away from it entirely. (And sometimes, saying No and Walking Away is the right thing to do). Eris and Vesta also trine Lachesis (21 Sagittarius), indicating the need for powerful emotional release, recognition of deep-trauma or energetic stagnation in matters pertaining to religious systems, academia / higher education, foreign travel, teachers or mentors, and so on. Tears that well up from your innermost being, at this time, can be powerfully cathartic.

I hope this mythological and symbolic analysis of Eris and Vesta has been of benefit and interest. Much of the historical research I used was available online – and Wikipedia is an awesome place to start. I also ended up looking at the Ancient History Encyclopaedia. Quite an interesting resource.

Blessings to All,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. Feel free to share this article using the Share button on Facebook or Reblog on WordPress for personal, non-commercial use. For any other purpose, please get in touch with me first. The interpretive material in this article is based on unpublished original research, and so I ask you to cite this piece if you would like to incorporate it into your own work or writings.

Image: ´Priestess´ By Leticiabanegas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. Used for non-commercial purposes under fair use policy.

Postscript  – my personal experience with Eris/Vesta :

Normally I don´t comment about a who-said-what kind of thing. But it fits Vesta conjuncts Eris (article below) quite well. A man inboxed me with regards to some aspect of ritual worship. I explained I did not work in that understanding of spirituality, but that I would answer what I could. He wanted to know if I did Vedic astrology, and I explained how I grew out of it. After dozens of readings as a child (and seeing it with family, and with some clients who never really felt it ´fit´), I opted to be a Western astrologer. As I´ve said before, which system you choose is up to you. They read different parts of the story, through different lenses.

This provoked an intense reaction from the man, saying how I had missed out and how Western astrology was shallow. And questioned how I could ´like´ Hindu gods because they were astrological. He started trying to pressure me with demands to answer his questions which, really he did not want to have answers for. To him, it was a need to prove that his system was better than mine. It was more of a bombardment that I neither had the time, nor the interest to handle.

I simply said that I wasn´t here to answer a pop quiz. And that it was an imposition on my time. I would block him if he persisted.

He laughed at the fact I identify with the priestess archetype and claimed I needed spiritual practice and that he was a panditji. So I should learn from him. (The unspoken assumption being that I had to yield to invasion of my space and time despite my clear lack of interest)

I simply responded that he neither understood what a priestess was or what she did.

To which he claimed to understand the Goddess, feminine energy and Devi worship.

Now, up to this point, I had been firm, but polite. I simply concluded with the following:

” Truly, a man who persists in imposing himself upon a woman´s time when she has said no?

Revolutionary.

Goodbye and I hope you find clarity. “

I realize that the old anger I had, that reaction I would once have instantly flared up with when seeing this kind of misogyny (and boy, do you see in in so called realized male Masters who claim to know the Feminine) – was gone. Just a cool detachment. Ready to cut the cord without turning back. Able to simply say no, without giving into the need to be liked, accepted or wanted.

Yeah, Eris! Go, Vesta!

I had been thinking about my role as a priestess, and what that meant to me. Which is why I haven´t been writing as much. I parted ways from someone significant to me (in my spiritual life) as I discovered she neither had the time or headspace for the path I was walking onto. One where I was less open to the manipulations of others, or the fantasies of my own ego (and yes, we all have it). One that came straight from the Dark Void, the Womb of the Dark Mother.

I didn´t know if what I was doing was right or wrong, because so much of my work was linked with the approval of this early mentor. And I questioned myself, bitterly, brutally – even to the point of wondering if I should just leave all this and get back into academia and/or a job at the UN.

I´d been in a state of not-knowing and not-being, and well, I was waiting for the spark to appear. The catalyst that would shift me out of my limbo. Something that would help me find my own answer.

Without my head, without (what is tradtionally understood as) the heart, something that comes from a place deeper than my gut, womb … at the heart of the Dark Core. That first spark of Awareness that says …

HERE, I AM.

Thank you Mr. Diehard-Feminine-Indian-Astrologer Guy.

You made my night 😀

Mercury enters Aquarius, exits Shadow Retrograde Period, trines Super Galactic Center

Galaxie_peinture
Right. Mini-update. Mercury is now in Aquarius. We´re just about to exit the Shadow Period of the recent Mercury Retrograde. You may see the need to revisit conversations, decisions and negotiations made in the first week of January 2016.
 
Mercury is also trining the Super Galactic Center (1 Libra). Whenever the SGC is involved in an alignment, we experience its energy as a sense of pressure, an immanent pull towards something far larger than ourselves – or simply a sense that whatever we commit to now is somehow more significant than it appears to be on the surface.
 
Pay close attention to the words, expressions, ideas – anything communicated – at this time. Be it with friends, through social media, from a partner or work or in the domestic sphere, or simply emerging from different layers of your own consciousness.
 
This appears to be a time where it is wiser to wait, watch and observe what happens as the dust kicked up from the turbulence and intensity of the past few weeks finally begins to settle.
 
Blessings to All,