Path of the Priestess

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

earth_pacific_jul_30_2010_signpost_crop

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 Virgo New Moon/Solar Eclipse (1 September 2016): Looking To The Future We are About to Create with Saturn, Pluto and Vesta (The Priestess)

Eggs 2

We begin this article by looking at the future that we are about to create.

At 9.03 am UTC, 1st September 2016 – the Moon conjuncted the Sun in a Solar Eclipse (New Moon) at 9 degrees Virgo.

Solar Eclipses / New Moons are potent times for the setting of seeds, or intentions which we reap – or see culminate – at moments predicted by the mathematics and energy of astrology. The seeds you set now you will most certainly see during the next Virgo Full Moon (March 12, 2017).

That´ll be interesting as the Sun will conjunct Pallas Athena and Chiron in Pisces whilst squaring Saturn and the Galactic Center in Sagittarius – and of course opposing the Moon at 22 Virgo.

Let´s just say that´s going be … a very telling time.

Many questions shall arise, such as: Are we on the road to Healing, or simply Self-Deception? Are we on a path of Service, or simply Self-Aggrandizement? (and so on and so forth)

Less than a month later (April 6, 2017), Saturn will retrograde at that exact degree – 27 Sagittarius (The Galactic Center), forcing us to re-visit these questions. Saturn will re-enter, and then finally leave Sagittarius from the last week of November till the first week of December 2017.

So really … the seeds we´re setting now, at the very least (putting aside the fact this is an Eclipse for a moment), will find structure, consolidation and form in fifteen months from now!!!!

I also note two curious features shared by the current Virgo New Moon (September 1, 2016) and next year´s Virgo Full Moon (March 12, 2017):

(1) The Sun and Moon square Saturn in Sagittarius
(2) Pluto in Capricorn opposes Vesta in Cancer (owing to Vesta´s long retrograde from the start of Leo and back into Cancer).

So let´s break that down.

The focus on Saturn tells us that – ALL – of this comes back to the question of what Path we ultimately take towards healing, learning, expression, service – or simply the paradigms we use to navigate our lives and find a sense of place in the world.

There´s going to be a lot of physical and/or intellectual movement as we expand our horizons. Be it by travel, migration, higher education, training, speaking – or finding sources of knowledge you see as authoritative in other forms.

Without surprise, this will equally translate into consolidation and/or conflict across the lines of political, spiritual and religious ideology.

As an astrologer, I also see this as a powerful time for the creation (and necessary destruction) of different approaches to this field of human-and-celestial understanding. The same message comes through strongly through the various other hats I wear: as academic, public speaker, global traveller – my own Saturn is in Sagittarius anyway 🙂 .

But long story short …

December 2017 is going to be a definitive time for the planet. And the seeds and energetic path-working we bring to our lives right now – is going to fuel whatever direction emerges then.

So … find the road you want to take and commit to it. You might change it over the next fifteen months – and that is fine. Just pick something, and get to it.

You might want to hold off signing paperwork till early October, just to allow Mercury to finish retrograding – unless of course, it´s just following through with something you previously committed to.

And it´s probably a good idea to let the Pisces Lunar Eclipse on September 16, 2016 pass first. The Moon (24 Pisces) will be conjunct Chiron, the Wounded Healer (22 Pisces), both trining Vesta (20 Cancer).

Amazingly, Vesta will be at the same degree (20 Cancer) during the Pisces Lunar Eclipse (September 16, 2016) and the Virgo Full Moon (March 12, 2017) – and when the Vesta Retrograde ends on March 7, 2017!

Interesting times … .. and such a focus on Vesta, The Priestess – to whom we now turn.

The second shared feature between the Virgo New Moon and Virgo Full Moon is the Pluto-Vesta opposition in Capricorn-Cancer.

This tells me that what we choose now is vital in helping us understand our Path of Service, Facilitation, Priest/essing – and its relationship with familial, ancestral, shadow-based karma, alchemy, manifestation and the deepest levels of energy-working.

That´s putting a very long story in a nutshell.

Vesta, the Priestess is going to want to sacrifice herself for her family, belief system, culture, custom, tradition – or simply to feel that she belongs someplace, that she has a Home.

Pluto will challenge Her by bringing her back into the Shadow-Domains, perhaps through the pursuit of power, perhaps through pain, perhaps both. I see The Priestess needs to understand the truth of what she seeks, what she is willing to sacrifice for it, and why – without giving into Pluto´s seductive wares and/or bullying ways. Remember – this is the planet that rules violence and breakdown, just as it does intimacy and rebirth.

Navigating this alignment alone will require an level of incredible transparency, groundedness and a willingness to ´cut through the karmic BS´ (as a loved one put it). You might prefer the language of transmutation, release and/or acceptance – it comes down to the paradigm of your choice.

Whatever you choose now, let it be a choice born of love, rather the fear of abandonment, betrayal, persecution or the desire to find brute power over another. It can be easy to give into those parts of the self when one believes they have no other way out. But that too is a belief, and one that can be shifted should you choose.

This bodes to be a very very transformative time for energy-workers and facilitators, particularly those who are not averse to exploring the relationship with the Shadow in its various forms. Those of you who do ancestral work will probably already be focusing on inherited (or mimicked) energetic vulnerabilities that have passed through family lineages.

I have found that working with the Golden Ray at the Solar Plexus Chakra in particular to be very, very effective at this time. Gemstones such as citrine or golden topaz will be of great use. Watch as well the messages that (literally) come from your gut, humanity´s ´second brain´, bringing with it the information of 100 million neurons. Probiotics and Vitamin C are also things I would encourage exploring to complement energetic work at this time.

But back to the astrology ….

I have also noted another curious emphasis on Vesta in a different Eclipse – the one coming right up on September 16, 2016. At that time, Vesta will be at 20 Cancer. She will be at that exact degree (as well) on the day the Vesta Retrograde ends (March 7, 2017) and the Virgo Full Moon (March 12, 2017) – when Vesta will oppose Pluto (just as she is doing now, albeit at 15 Cancer-Capricorn).

I would suggest looking into this particular degree (20 Cancer) in your natal and/or progressed charts to see what transformations arise. Vesta finally moves past this degree in the final week of March 2017 – which is when I would expect to see further movement in the way we navigate the Vesta/Cancer-Pluto/Capricorn opposition. The final Vesta-Pluto opposition in Cancer-Capricorn will take place in late July 2020, at 23 degrees. Then we get into the Leo-Aquarius oppositions, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

To me, what this says is that we´re going to be challenged to move past, transform and/or embrace the role of Vesta-as-familial-caregiver-custodian, sacrificing her power and freedom and limiting herself into the home or domestic sphere. For some, this is ideal – for others, it is a prison. But there are too many ways that particular dynamic can play out – this is just one example. The possibility of resolution here comes in the Shadow (Pluto), in being willing to face what remains unseen in the deepest energetic chambers of the ancestral line. Certainly an interesting time for Priest/esses and Facilitators in general.

As a Priestess – I have to say that this has been one of the most … incredibly intense times of my life.

(I figure that will resonate with many others in a similar vocation).

To sum up what we´ve said so far … what you do during this Eclipse – counts – big time. The ripples you make in the pools of your sub-conscious will transform into ocean tides that move and shape (and dissolve and re-create) us all.

And last but not least – remember – this is an Eclipse. And eclipses come as part of families of eclipses, most popularly classified in terms of Saros cycles. To quote NASA:

“The periodicity and recurrence of eclipses is governed by the Saros cycle, a period of approximately 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hours). It was known to the Chaldeans as a period when lunar eclipses seem to repeat themselves, but the cycle is applicable to solar eclipses as well. “ ~eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEsaros/SEsaros.html

The current Solar Eclipse / New Moon in Virgo is No. 39 of 71 in Saros cycle 135. It began on July 5 1331 and will end on August 17, 2593. Eclipse No. 38 was on August 22, 1998, with No. 40 on September 12, 2034.

Look back to August 1998 to see how the events of then connect with the present (that´s been true to a ridiculously specific degree for me – AND – Vesta was at 20 Cancer on that date as well… you just can´t make this stuff up ). And, if you remember, look back on today if you´re still about in September 2034 😀 There will be considerable energetic linkages between all these dates (which you can find on Wikipedia).

And that is where I would like to leave this article. Rather than going into Saturn-Neptune-Nodes and their relationship with the Sun/Moon/Eclipse – I wanted to take this in a different direction – as we´ve all spent the past months moving through these exact challenges (in the mutable signs).

I felt it was time to take a step forwards and look to the future we wish to create in the time that we have NOW.

Blessings and Thanks,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

Post & Image ´Virgo New Moon Solar Eclipse September 1 2016´ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.

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

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 😀

I am ….

WIN_20151216_112805

There is a tremendous difference between embodying the Goddess in all that you are-and-do, and in setting yourself up on a new Goddess-pedestal for others to come and worship you on. The former celebrates life, Spirit, and that personal synergetistic magic you co-create with the Cosmos. The latter, alas, panders to the ego and creates the same hierarchical division that so many of us within the Goddess movement abhor in the patriarchy.

I notice more and more that the less I hold onto as an ‘I’ or ‘Ego-Self’, the freer I am to simply Exist. Interestingly, the more so I give up particular identifications, expectations, and the need to be seen as Priestess / Goddess / Sacred Woman, etc. (which is part of the path for any facilitator – ego’s way of handling this journey till you can let it go) – – -the more I let go of all this, the more people I meet who honor the Sacred in me without having to see me as their superior.

And conversely, these tend to be the type of people in whom I can see that same movement of energy, and honor as friends and equals. That being said, there are days where the Doctor of Political Science bit, or the Priestess bit, or the Daughter-of-My-Ancestors bit, or the Astrologer bit, or the other aspects of me feel like they need to be more strongly asserted. And days where I just let them all go.

And that seems to be a more whole, centered-and-ever-shifting space for me to be in. Setting yourself up on a pedestal happens when the titles/powers/gifts you have or embody become the only, dominant way you can see yourself on your path. But it’s not the whole thing. Nor do I subscribe to the p.o.v. that complete absence is the way either. One extreme seems too full of its ego-self, and the other extreme seems hollow. Middle path, all the way .. yay …

‪#‎morningmusing‬ , pre-breakfast

Bairavee

 

PS – Kali T-shirt from Glastonbury Festival 2011, England 😛

 

Post & Image © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. Feel free to share with the ‘Sharing Links’ on FB or wordpress. If you’d like to re-blog this on your website / page in any other way, please get my consent first. Ta!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016: When Truth and Power Meet The Spirit (Saturn-Neptune squares) & 2016 Astrological Calendar & Preparatory Alignments (Nodes square Galactic Center, Sagittarius New Moon Dec 2015)

DSCF7997

Blessings to All. We’ve just come from an intense Sagittarius New Moon (19 Sag, Dec 11, 2015) in which we all discovered, or found the beginnings of, the Path we’re headed on. I had begun a pilgrimage to India with my brother. We visited institutions in which the Sacred Feminine was co-opted by later patriarchal traditions, but never truly represented. We also saw the lack of literature, perspective and space afforded to the Sacred Feminine in the ‘societal mainstream’. And that is a crying shame, coming from the land of ‘a million goddesses’. That being said, the ritualistic treatment of the Goddess as sacred is at times used as a proxy for treating real human women with basic dignity (which really, does not help the latter in they day to day lives – it was a theme that came up in my doctoral research on the Indian Parliament and its inability to hold the debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill. I might write more on that soon.

So yes, my path was lit like a beacon. In different ways, others would have found alignments or ‘pulls’ to their respective paradigms, roads of travel and wider philosophical/intellectual world in which their individual perspectives could be located (if at all). Significant changes in one’s relationship to long-distance travel, academia, institutions of learning, forms of organized religion, philosophical schools and such may also have been highlighted at this time. Many of you may have discovered the need to move past outdated ways of seeing the world that do not honor your own energetic presence and reality. And so the search for a new Path to Truth unfolds.

Watch for the Sagittarius Full Moon (May 21, 2016) to see how these intentions bear fruit in your world/s. Bear in mind that the window of influence for a New/Full Moon tends to be three days before and after the event itself, with longer window periods for Supermoons and Eclipses.

Whilst the Sagittarius New/Full Moon cycles bring us to an expanded (or need to expand) our sense of Truth and Being, we have two other longer-term aspects in the skies that have been continually transforming our relationship with this energy. Saturn (in Sagittarius) squared Neptune (in Pisces) and the North Node (in Virgo) / South Node (in Pisces) squared The Galactic Center (27 Sagittarius).

Saturn in Sagittarius is an energy that asks us to look at the institutions, established channels and authority that tells us how we can and ought to relate to Truth, and what happens when we refuse to comply. It is about that authoritative claim to power that on the one hand inspires us to find the path that connects us to our core-inner sense of strength – and on the other hand – it either asks us to resist institutions (governments, banks, etc.) that seek to deny that process. Those who seek power externally, rather than from within might seek to set themselves up as a new form of ‘authority’. It’s a great time in which Truth and Power are easily conflated. Saturn only leaves Sagittarius on Dec 20/21, 2017 – 2 years down the line. It will not re-enter this sign until 2044.

Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces throughout 2016. Let’s look at the challenge that Neptune poses:

Neptune represents our deepest connection with the Formless aspect of Spirit which we understand as the mystical, transcendental, deeply intimate and deeply compassionate form of the Sacred. It energies are linked with the infinitely compassionate energies of figures such as The Christ, and Lord Shiva (and many others – most if not all saints, at the very least). In day to day life it reflects upon the way we achieve a sense of Oneness, or are in a state of graceful flow, in synergy with the Cosmos. It is where you find Surrender in that which you call ‘The Sacred’. Truth no longer exists at a single point in Space-Time, nor is it, any longer, an intellectual construct.

Neptune’s energy can also tell us, where, in our lives we are going to need to exercise the greatest levels of compassion, release, and forgiveness. Much of this will relate to our personal spiritual curriculum, or opportunities for growth – and to past, karmic ties. It is also the location in the chart where an individual is most prone to becoming attached to false visions, or, living in an illusory reality or personal fantasy. So, it represents a great many things – and all of these strongly contrast to the fixity, solidity, power and form of Saturn and the passionate, ideational, Truth-Seeking arrow of Sagittarius.

During the Saturn-Neptune squares, you will see this as a continual challenge to find a Path, critique a governing authority, discover a new societal/organizing structure or principle – that aligns better with the compassionate, intuitive, deeply mystical and wholly impermanent nature of Neptune. There isn’t a quick and easy solution to the square, except that we will find our answers through the Titanic friction, or energetic engagement between the two. There are at least two ways this energy can pan out – governments may find themselves becoming more open, more willing to relinquish traditional ideas of security, control and power. Or … they might be go deeper into their own ideology and ethos reflecting the status quo. Institutions of power are resistant to change, as are many individuals. That’s the kind of thing which ultimately leads to a global crisis, economic/political turmoil, and so on – I only hope that that can be averted with more conscious leadership.

We will feel this energetic push-and-pull until September 2016. Bear in mind that Saturn and Neptune will experience their own retrogrades next year, as all Mars (in Sagittarius). Mars’ role will certainly give us the energy to act upon these new visions of Truth and challenge us to find ways to align them with our deeper sense of spirituality. It can also, conversely, fuel the flames of the downward spiral (the other way this can play out).

Key dates (1-3 refers to dates where the square is exact. Dates are given as A/B to reflect time zones – those in Asia/Australia, take the later date):

(1) Nov 26/27, 2015 at 7 Sag-Pis ** EXACT SATURN-NEPTUNE SQUARE **

— March 5/6 Mars shifts into Sagittarius

— March 8/9 SOLAR ECLIPSE IN PISCES!

— March 23 LUNAR ECLIPSE IN LIBRA

— March 24/25 Saturn retrograde begins

— April 16/17 Mars’ Retrograde begins

— May 21 Sagittarius Full Moon (watch the seeds set in mid-December 2015 come to fruition)

— May 27/28 Mars re-enters Scorpio (looks familiar, doesn’t it? – that’s what Saturn did in 2015)

— June 12/13 Neptune retrograde begins

(2) Jun 16/17, 2016 at 12 Sag-Pis (both planets in Retrograde, a Grand Mutable Cross forms with these bodies in early June as well) **

— June 29/30 Mars stations direct in Scorpio

— August 2/3 Mars re-enters Sagittarius

— August 12/13 Saturn stations direct

— September 1 SOLAR ECLIPSE IN VIRGO

(3) September 10/11, 2016 at 10 Sag-Pis (Saturn is direct, post-retrograde. Bear in mind that Saturn and Neptune are within 3 degrees of one another in their respective signs all throughout July and August 2016) **

— September 16/17 LUNAR ECLIPSE IN PISCES!

— September 26/27 Mars leaves Sagittarius

— Nov 19/20 Neptune stations direct

To sum all of that up, we’re going to be seeing the most intense expressions of this energy between between June-September 2016. Different people, different states, different institutions of governance will respond to these challenges differently.

It is interesting to note that 3 out of 4 eclipses next year will involve the Mutable (Sagittarius, Pisces, Virgo, Gemini) signs. We’ll see many cycles of beginning and ending with respect to the energies discussed in this article.

2016 is going to be a very transformative year, indeed.

But that’s not all 😉

In fact- We’ve already begun to prepare for this shift with the movement of the North Node through Virgo, and its current square with the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius. The Galactic Center, as I’ve written about before, is an astrological point that connects us with different Paths of Truth and Guidance. The North Node, on the other hand, asks us to explore a new chapter in our spiritual expression / unfoldment / evolution. At present, the North Node is in Virgo – relating to the themes and archetypes of: The Priestess, spiritual facilitation, earthly/material vessels and paths of service, pragmatism and discernment in spiritual matters, knowing when to draw needed boundaries, health, wellness, etc. The South Node, in Pisces, which relates very much to the Neptunian energy described above (formlessness, compassion, unconditional love, surrender to Spirit) opposes the North Node and squares the Galactic Center as well.

In practical terms, this means that we already facing a deeper spiritual need to find truths that align with us at the most profound level we can experience. We are also searching for physical ways in which we can contain or express this energy in a material, grounded, practical, form. Whilst this powerful, karmic Mutable Nodal T-Square can facilitate the re-birthing of (for instance) the Priestess Traditions linked with the Sacred Feminine, it can equally birth counter-movements to the same. Each of these energies does not have one single expression, but open us to multiple possibilities.

The North/South Node squares the Galactic Center (taking a 3 degree orb of influence) between early October 2015 – the end of January 2016.

You can think about this period as the energetic preparation for the Saturn/Neptune squares (and Mars retrograde in Sagittarius) set to dominate the energies of 2016.

I hope this guide, whilst lengthy, will provide you with your own spiritual-ideational roadmap to the immense energies arising in the year ahead. What an exciting time to be alive!

Blessings,

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

~~~

Please note the updated T& Cs of use and sharing (if you’re just clicking share from the original webpage or FB, you’re fine 😉 )

~~~

** Terms and Conditions of Use & Sharing: Please note that none of the information presented above or in linked material is meant to replace advice from a medical, healthcare, legal and/or other professional service. How you choose to act upon the advice given is entirely based on your own free will. The author shall not be held liable from any intentional, accidental or other consequences of acting upon, sharing, or engaging with this information in any form.

You have the right to share this freely for non-commercial and personal reasons on FB from the original FB post (with the ‘Share’ button), and, with respect to the webpage, you have the right to share it directly from the original site (‘Sharing Options’ from www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com ).

If you wish to re-blog this article on your own websites/pages/organizations – as though it originated from your site – or to use it to promote your own activities/work/businesses, then you must obtain prior consent from the author. If permission is granted, then full credit to the author and links to her page need to be visibly published as a ‘Guest Post’.

Use of this information constitutes complete acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

~~~

Post & Image ‘Gate at Theosophical Society Chennai 11 December 2015’ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved – see T&Cs above for conditions of use.

Releasing the Title of Priestess: Moving Deeper into ‘I AM Consciousness’

DSCF4570

Blessings to all. After much deliberation, I have decided to release the title of ‘Priestess’. Whilst I have been blessed to serve in that title for some time, it no longer feels resonant with what my Spirit is evolving into.

As a verb, an activity, an archetype or even a state of consciousness, I am and will always be priestess-ing, but that is no longer a construct with which I can fully identify with. There’s so much more that awaits.

Much Love,

Bairavee