Eris

THE PISCES PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE 16.9.2016: REVELATION, MYSTERY AND THE MAGIC OF SPIRIT

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We begin this article with an astronomical note, followed by the spiritual and energetic analysis this alignment brings to us all. It is a potent Eclipse and one which brings with it the opportunities for many beginnings, endings, release, healing … and initiation unto a new Path. One that will, at the very least, involve a re-conceptualization of the road you´re headed on, the world you want to create and be a part of. It´s hard to say whether this alignment is more Yin or Yang as the Masculine and Feminine come through very different, and often overlapping channels at this point in time.

ASTRONOMICAL NOTE:

The Moon (24 Pisces) opposes the Sun (24 Virgo) at 19:04 UTC on 16.9.2016, creating a penumbral lunar Eclipse, meaning that the Earth´s outer shadow falls on the Moon as the Sun, Earth and Moon line up together in space. Those of you in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, West in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica may see a partial shading of the Moon (if you see any external difference at all).

From the astrological perspective, Eclipses are particularly significant as they act as funnels or intensifiers of cosmic energy, setting and releasing cycles of growth, change and experience in mathematically exact cycles. I work with the Saros cycle system, which sees different iterations or members of ´eclipse families´ occur in sequence, each eclipse separated by approximately 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hour) intervals.

So, look back to the previous members of this particular Eclipse family to see how the flow of energy carries through these hyper-activated points in space-time. This eclipse is Number 8 or 70 in Saros cycle 147. This eclipse was preceded by 7 others and will continue to perpetuate itself through a further 62 eclipses, beginning on July 2nd 1890 and ending on 28 July 3134. This refers to the Lunar (as opposed to the Solar) Saros series 147.

The most recent eclipses in this series occurred on 26th August 1980 and 6th September 1998. The next two eclipses will occur on 28th September 2034 and 8th October 2052. Look back to those previous dates to see where the energy you´re feeling comes from (or is linked to) and to the future dates to see where it may continue to play out.

Info on Eclipse Cycles: eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEsaros/LEsaros147.html

And now, the astrological and spiritual interpretation of the Pisces Penumbral Eclipse (16.9.2016).

ASTRO-SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION …

The Lunar Eclipse is, by definition, a Full Moon. We have discussed above the 18 year cycles that connect families of eclipses. In astrology, we can also find a connection between events that occur at a particular degree of an event, or, through the cycle of energy between the New Moon and Full Moon.

New Moons are excellent time for the seeding of intentions that they may culminate with the corresponding Full Moons of the signs these occur in. Therefore, the energetic seed set for this Pisces Eclipse (September 16 2016) began (in addition to the 18-year eclipse cycles) on the Pisces Total Solar Eclipse / Pisces New Moon 2016 (March 8, 2016).

You will see the seeds you set recur in some form during this Eclipse. As we´re speaking of Pisces, we refer to matters that link with your deepest, nameless, formless, unquantifiable and absolutely inexplicable relationship with Spirit/uality. It also refers to our relationship with cycles of karma carried through past-lifetimes and through intergenerational work. Here is where we consider the liminal nature of the boundaries, or thresholds, that separate the energetic frequency of consciousness/perception we understand as reality – from other alternatives. It is where, in other words, the Veil is thinned.

The psychically sensitive will benefit from the use of Frankincense oil as this will help you purify your energetic space. Make sure you use a high quality oil which you are not allergic to. Purifying gemstones such as selenite will help to clear space. Stones such as celestite and kyanite can help to open psychic bridges or pathways to other levels of consciousness – if you feel this is a safe and necessary thing to do in your journey. Aquamarine will be using in finding clarity and focus through emotional turbulence, especially when you need to come to the point of taking action in some form.

Always (especially now) seek out the guidance of a facilitator you trust if you feel you need some perspective. Those of you drawn to working with me at this juncture in your journey, please note that my next round of sessions will be between September 19-30, 2016. I´m letting the energy of this alignment settle a little first.

The Sun (24 Virgo) conjuncts asteroid Minerva (25 Virgo), asking you to hold in mind the role of the discerning mind and intellect in navigating amorphous psychic energy / impressions at this time. Not all that glitters is gold and not that that slithers is evil. So much of what we perceive passes through a mental filter which may or may not be accurate. Minerva´s role in this alignment tells me that the Goddess´ blessings are showered upon those who seek to find paths of healing, wholeness and service through the psychic or intuitive revelations shown to them at this time.

The Moon, Sun and Minerva square the asteroid Pholus (24 Sagittarius). Pholus is associated with the nature of revelation that – once known – cannot be unknown – and so creates an irreversible effect. It speaks to the power of knowledge, and with it forms of change that it necessitates. It ripples through the cosmos, affecting us through the generational lines. According this fantastic article (on the power of Pholus and what it can bring to you – astropost.blogspot.com/2010/04/pholus-files.html ), it is also an energy that can put a stop to addictions. I read that as a call to end the compulsive, sub-conscious impulses that lead us to karmic decisions, cycles and experiences that we are ready to integrate and ultimately, no longer be governed by.

Amethyst (the gemstone) can help in finding the mental clarity, whereas, Malachite can help with finding the willpower needed to overcome addictive compulsions. (All of these tools can help, but the real work still comes down to You.)

Now … the Galactic Center of the Milky Way is at 27 Sagittarius, 3 degrees away from Pholus. You´re going to find your paths, guides, mentors, gurus, teachers, astrologers, oracles, etc. to profound be way-showers at this time. Sometimes you will be lovingly brought to a new space or direction, and at other times, forcibly kicked out. You may feel drawn to or repelled from a particular path or person – and that is orient. It is all part of your initiation unto a new journey or chapter.

With this powerful energy of revelation comes change. The information you receive now may sweep you off your feet in a good way – or – make you feel like the rug you´re standing on has just been pulled away from underneath. Different people will respond differently and so there is no hard and fast rule. I would recommend grounding practices, whilst consciously choosing to remain present, open (and protected) to whatever emerges through this transit.

Psychic protection is a must. Frankincense, camphor, neem or lime (oils), labradorite or black obsidian (gemstones) can help immensely. Consider smudging your space with white sage, incense, palo santo and the like.

The healing potential of this eclipse is emphasized as the Sun sextiles, whilst the Moon trines Panacea ´the cure to all ills´ at 23 Scorpio. Those with bodies near 23-24 Aquarius will experience this as a powerful Yod (Finger of Fate), bring you swiftly to karmic crossroads. Here you will choose what ideological framework you continue to situate your ideals and sense of individuality within as you navigate the depths in the search of healing, or paths of service. It is in this search that Panacea offers her remedies.

Panacea is conjunct asteroid Isis (23 Scorpio), opening a different level of interpretation and meaning for ritual practitioners / spiritualists who invoke the energy of this Goddess. The symbol of the Ankh appears to be of immense significance at this point of time. Remember that Isis brings life and healing, and it is she who goes into the Underworld to put together, build a new phallus for and resurrect her husband Osiris (The Wounded Masculine).

With Chiron at 22 Pisces and Atlantis at 22 Cancer, we see the role of psychic healing, wounding, trauma and energies that connect with past-lifetimes in oceanic/underwater civilizations heightened. Larimar (the gemstone) can be an intense, but effective catalyst in working through the deeper emotions and memories these alignments evoke. Together with Panacea, Isis and the Moon, Chiron and Atlantis come together to form a potent Grand Water Trine in the skies. One that brings out a wide range of emotions, intuitive, karmic and psychic possibilities and experiences.

What also strikes me as curious is the fact that the March 2016 New Moon / Total Solar Eclipse also had Chiron conjunct the Moon, just as we now experience. The Wounded Healer asks us to look back to then, and now, to see what lessons we have learnt, and will continue to learn hereafter. There is the choice to transcend a particular cycle of pain and wounding, and another to accept it as a path of service. Neither choice is more sacred than the other and let no one bully you into thinking otherwise. Charoite is a gemstone that can help those seeking clarity on this particular question.

There are … so very many different asteroidal, planetary and other conjunctions that make this Eclipse an extraordinary one. I´m going to conclude this article with a brief summary of a few of these aspects:

(1) Jupiter conjuncts the Super-Galactic Center (1 Libra): Our path to growth comes through the dissolution or creation of partnerships and collaborations in alignment with our Spirit and its connection with the energies of the Cosmos (our perception of All-That-Is). Many karmic contracts will be dissolved and others may (or may not) rise to take their place. There´s a lot of energetic recalibration underfoot as we rethink our visions of balance, justice and co-existence in the world (and how all of that is possible). There are moments where we are subtle, where we do not engage – and others where we roar charging into the arena to seek justice and redress.

(2) Mars (23 Sagittarius) trines Psyche (23 Leo) / Phaethon (22 Leo) and Uranus/Eris (23 Aries), creating a Grand Fire Trine at the 23rd degree of all Fire signs. Long story short is is when we reclaim the narrative of the Rising Feminine and integrate (or … if you still don´t see Her place in the world as a valid one) or exclude it from religious, spiritual, philosophical and/or intellectual paradigms and paths. You get to re-write Your-and-Her stories right now. Follow those impulses and act upon them, but make sure you don´t burn yourself out in a blaze of righteous fury and then have no energy left for anything else. We´re all burning, the world´s burning in its own way – and let us honor one another in our search for expression, passion and truth. There´s going to be a lot of reactive energy to Daddy-Patriarch, let us not let it spin our own compasses out of control. Focus your energy into the change you want it to manifest as.

(3) Saturn (10 Sagittarius) squares Neptune (10 Pisces), Eris (23 Aries) conjuncts Uranus (23 Aries). I´ve lumped these two together as I´ve written on them quite a bit before. Re-cap: We are asked to better align our Paths with the deeper Guidance from Spirit. We are asked to recognize (and embody) the archetype of the Rising Feminine in all aspects of our being, and the world-as-we-know it. They´re HUGE alignments, but ones we have been experiencing for most of 2016 in one form or another. Saturn squares the North Node (11 Virgo) which opposes Neptune and the South Node (11 Pisces). There´s a lot of karmic drama that this plays out through and much of it will relate to our paths of service and numinous experiences of what we truly consider ´the Sacred, without necessarily requiring intermediaries.

(4) Vesta (20 Cancer) squares Venus (21 Libra) and Uranus-Eris (23 Aries). If you recall my article on the Virgo Solar Eclipse 2 weeks prior, I made the case for taking note of Vesta at this particular degree as she plays a significant role in our collective evolutionary process, at least, till 2020 – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-1nz ! I see this as a time where the Priestess realizes that she need not sacrifice her femininity, emotion or home to perform her service in the world, nor does she need to be enslaved by it all. Relationships will be powerfully reconfigured at this time – and potentially dissolved – if they seek to confine the Feminine to its (purely) domestic, sacrificial expression. Whilst mothering and nurturing your family is one of the most sacred acts of service a person can do, it need not be the only, or even, the primary way that the Feminine can be of service. I see this as a clarion call to (Pluto in) Capricorn, which gives us the opportunity to reconfigure our visions of power and the role of the feminine in the institutions that contain them.

(5) South Node (11 Pisces) trines whilst North Node (11 Virgo) sextiles Black Moon Lilith and Juno (13 Scorpio). The Karma we seek to clear pertains to the Shadow Aspect of the Feminine. Which is not an evil thing, but often carries the weight of karmic baggage and projection. An excellent time to perform healing rituals or … call it rituals of love … with/upon/for deities and archetypes of femininity that represent the wounded, scarred or forgotten aspects of She-Who-Is-Goddess. It is time to realize that the Dark Womb is Sacred Ground, rather than the chamber of shame, neglect, abuse and judgement. Those of you with placements near 11-13 Cancer will experience this intensely as a Grand Water Trine, whereas those with placements near 11-13 Aries will experience this as a pivotal Yod (Finger of Fate).

So …. like I said, a lot is going on the skies and these are selected vignettes of the celestial symphony. Stay safe, stay grounded, stay protected. And then open yourself to the embrace of the skies. You might find a new way to see it all.

General Gemstone Tip. Try working with Sugilite. I find it resonant with the energies of the Goddess, in her many, many forms (and states of formlessness).

Blessings and Love,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.

Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, Nasa.http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=46209

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 and/or the ideas explored therein into your workshop materials, teachings or written work, please cite this article and author 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.

THE JOURNEY OF THE PRIESTESS (VESTA) IN APRIL 2016: The Grand Earth Trine ; Materially Manifesting Your Path of Service, Healing and Facilitation

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I´ve been going through Vesta´s aspects to other major bodies for the months of April and May – and my goodness – there´s a lot going down with the Priestess Asteroid over the next three weeks! This means plenty of opportunities to explore, expand and discover new Paths of Service, especially in ways that connect with different layers or levels of physical reality as she´s going to be in Taurus until mid-May. Here´s my earlier article detailing the different challenges, gifts and interpretive possibilities opened by Vesta´s transit through Taurus for those who want more info –http://wp.me/p4OUNS-Yf .

Between April 1 to April 25, 2016, there´s a Grand Earth Trine in the sky involving Vesta & Mercury (Taurus), Jupiter (Virgo), North Node (Virgo) and Pluto (Capricorn). This is a powerful time to focus on manifestation in this physical, earthly, material plane.

Vesta´s energy encourages us to focus upon connecting with the energy of Abundance and Presence that moves through the consciousness of the Earth and connects us all. What we do, by virtue of our physical actions, relationships and being on this planet has an influence on all else that exists – and often that relationship is forgotten. Vesta encourages us to find ways to make that material existence one that moves (purely) beyond self-serving needs, to ones which equally nurture, heal or facilitate others in finding their own abundance (and ability to serve). We give back to the Earth and all that exists with/within Her through acts of Service. This can be through facilitative work, priest/essing, new directions in your business, or making sure that basic physical needs are met – there´s a wide range of interpretive possibilites, or ways of working with this energy. For some, the energy of Earth-Abundance is in the Earth herself, for others it means business, income and finances – and for some it focuses with the sense-perception of the body, pleasures of incarnation and the joys of physicality – and so on.

Vesta interacts with quite a few bodies as part of this incredibly rich and fertile Grand Earth Trine energy – summaries of each follow:

Jupiter encourages us to explore new pathways, teachers or paradigms that connect us with the Priestess/Earth-Facilitator traditions – especially those that focus upon the Womb Center (in women) or more generally, the generative qualities of the Sacral Chakra. It also involves the physical energy of the stomach and related digestive organs, and so involves the energy of the Solar Plexus chakra as well. The Virgo energy echoes well with Vesta and serves to reinforce what she stands for – but more so through physical, tangible actions that have an immediate presence in our sense-perception of reality.

Growth, with Jupiter-in-Virgo, is through discrete, physical acts of service and the structuring of actions in rituals, habits and routines that helps us find our greatest path of growth. In other words, take care of the little things, even if they seem like grunt-work, or things that don´t yield you an immediate reward or recognition. Do them because they need to be done. Don´t conflate the need to be seen as big, larger than life, or pedestalized-as-Teacher with the work of the Facilitator. You can be all of those things, but remember the little things. They´re just as (if not more) important as the grand gestures.

The North Node tells us that the path to growth, and to releasing past karmic entanglements (Pisces) is through this routinized focus on little acts of service. In practical terms, that may require a deeper focus on the way you structure your daily life, the way you keep you physical vessel in balance with your spiritual intuition. The health of the physical body and the nutritional value (or fuel) you put into your sacred vessel is just as important as what you can channel or remember. Start with something small, and keep adding new things each day to bring greater well-being into your life, so that you may do the same for others, if appropriate. There is no point in trying to serve, or to fill another´s cup, when your own is broken and unable to act as a vessel.

The North Node´s energy (especially when it trines Vesta) challenges us to equally draw the lines of service. There are certain physical boundaries which we do need in order to be spiritually functional and healthy. Don´t be afraid to say no things that will lead you to energetic burnout or simply being ungrounded or overwhelmed with psychic energy. Part of being a good facilitator is knowing when to draw that line.

Pluto´s trine to the Vesta makes us question what larger footprint, or legacy we leave behind in this physical world and the power that we have given institutions (of governance, authority, even banking) over us and our world. Equally, we will be pulled into the deeper spaces within that makes us question how we merge our energies with others, or even how we seek to control/be controlled by others in games played by the ego. Vesta raises these questions to the Earthly Surface (Taurus), and asks how we harness , and where needed, transmute the Shadow-Self so that it may play a more constructive, facilitative role in our physical lives.

We will feel this energy most intensely between April 16-18, 2016. This is a powerful time for facilitative work for any kind, particularly those which address aspects of the Shadow, the Womb and questions of power, growth, expansion and karmic re-attunement. For those of you seeking to work with me, bear in mind that I am going to be offering Vesta and Eris sessions throughout April 2016. Timing your session close to the middle of April will yield powerful, deep and transformative results – but really, it´s present throughout the month!

There are other alignments to Vesta going exact in the month of April. Here´s a super-quick rundown.

April 2 – Vesta sextiles Neptune at 10 Taurus-Pisces. A fantastic time to find ways to bridge our spiritual experiences and formless, wordless knowing-s with more concrete, tangible, material forms of service.

Dates are given as per UTC time. Allow for a day earlier in case you live in North / South America, or a day later if you live in Asia / Australia. In any case, these are dates of exact alignments – you´ll see a clear build-up and run-down of the energy around the dates given in any case.

April 5 – Vesta opposes Juno Retrograde at 11 Taurus-Scorpio. A time to recognize the interplay of different aspects of the Divine Feminine. He we see certain acts of service (in the physical domain) can open us to a deeper exploration of the Shadow and how we connect intimately with others in that realm.

April 11 – Vesta trines Jupiter Retrograde at 14 Taurus-Virgo. A fantastic time to explore (or reject) pathways, teachers and paradigms that show us how to facilitate, nurture and serve – the self and others. It is important to honor the sacred (physical) vessel that allows us to do the work we do. Vesta reminds us to bring these insights and practices back to the flow of Abundance and Earth-Presence that connects us all.

April 14 – Vesta inconjuncts Saturn Retrograde at 16 Taurus-Sagittarius. A time to express (or reject) paths, paradigms and teachers that seek to shows us our places in the world, and the grand schematic that encompasses it all. Be it through astrology, religion, academic or foreign travel – it´s really a time where we look at the larger belief systems that underpin our perspectives – and to see how they align (or not) with the work we do in this material expression of ´reality´.

April 16 – Vesta conjuncts Mercury at 16 Taurus. A heightened flow of ideas that focus upon ways to better serve in this physical reality, and how to communicate this with others. A fantastic day for divination, dowsing or other activities that bridge intuitive information download with the deeper, grounding energies of Earth. This is a time here ideas, information or data pertaining to the lessons of Vesta (service, facilitation, devotion, sacrifice) come charging through the ether. The message will, once again, be focused upon the ways we connect with this Earth (and the many levels of interpretation that opens up). Mercury will conjunct Vesta in Taurus two other times – on May 1 (at 23 Taurus) and June 23rd (at 16 Gemini) owing to its upcoming Retrograde in Taurus.

April 18 – Vesta trines Pluto at 17 Taurus-Capricorn. As described above, the question of who controls us and whether we ought to let them arises. We frame the question of legitimacy, legacy, power and authority in terms of what we need to manifest more so (as a form of service) in embodied, physical form

Pluto goes retrograde on the same day – and so the search for the Shadow and its Lessons (and Gifts) moves further inwards, to a deeper layer of the Psyche. On this day we also see the exact Grand Earth Trine formed between Vesta, Mercury, Pluto and Jupiter in the Earth Signs. It is a powerful day to time any kind of works that involve physical manifestation, spi/ritual work, the Priestess Traditions, and so on.

Interestingly, Mars goes retrograde on April 17 at 8 degrees Sagittarius. This will encourage us to look inwards for Truth rather than seeking from an external source. Validation and guidance is lovely, but it´s got to resonate with what you inwardly know and believe in any case.

On April 23, Vesta trines the (Mean Calculation of the) North Node at 19 Taurus-Virgo. Vesta´s final exact aspect of the month (with the bodies considered here) points us in the direction of challenge, growth and opportunity. Be open to learning new ways to Serve and be flexible about letting go old ways that no longer serve as well as they used to. There is little to gain in holding onto old traditions or perspectives (as hallowed as they may once have been) if they do not resonate with the energy of the present. Honor the past, but equally, honor the need to explore different possibilities. For some, this will be a call to step outside the traditional meanings of the term Priest/ess, or even to expand the scope of what ´Service´ means to you, and how that connects with different levels of physical reality.

For those of you who use the True Node calculation, the Vesta-Node trine occurs at 20 Virgo on April 25.

And, as a general note – Mercury goes retrograde on April 28 at 23 Taurus. The Retrograde lasts until May 22, when Mercury begins its shadow phase at 14 Taurus. There´s going to be (again) an inward focus on the way we think about and express our ideas on how we exist in this material plane and are interwoven within it. Vesta would have tilled much of the soil (Taurus) as it were, making it a very interesting time to begin the Retrograde. Mercury moves out of its shadow phase and into direct motion on June 7th.

In May, Vesta´s major activity occurs through its transit into Gemini (May 16) and in its inconjunct (testing) aspect to Juno and Lilith (mid-May). This brings the challenge of reconciling different aspects lessons and vulnerabilities associated with forms of Feminine energy. More on that in May. The Sun also forms a conjunction to Vesta (May 23, 2 degrees Gemini), placing her back in the spotlight for a brief time.

Considering the sheer number and intensity of aspects made to Vesta in April – – – yeah …. there´s a lot more going on with Priestess energy this month, and with it, opportunities to manifest in the material, earthly realm.

To those who would like to work with me in learning what the Priestess archetype means for them and how they can best manifest it, consider the Vesta session (Link: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-y0 ) and time it accordingly as the intensity peaks mid-April. But really, she´s lit up the whole month!

So my friends, a great deal to explore, manifest and understand with the archetype of the Priest/ess or Facilitator in April 2016! Enjoy the vibes, find ways of healing and remember to honor our Earth-Mother through physical gestures, rituals and/or acts of service 🙂

Much Love,

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

PS – Please ´follow´ this blog if you would like to make sure you stay connected with my work and to receive important updates or new posts.

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Additional Links:

Vesta in Taurus (Explanation of Current Energy): http://wp.me/p4OUNS-Yf

Vesta Session Info: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-y0

Eris Awakens Session Info: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-RT

Current round of sessions: April 4-28, 2016.

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Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016.

Image: Dancing with Helen Moller; her own statement of her philosophy and practice and teaching formed upon the classic Greek model, and adapted to meet the aesthetic and hygienic needs of to-day, with (14761703756).jpg By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

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, insitution 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. Sessions are subject to T&Cs explained in the invoice and during the session itself. Having or purchasing the sessions implies tacit acceptance of all T&Cs.

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.

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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 😀