Spiritual Path of Service

Spiritual Shaming, Self-Worth and Why Suffering Isn’t the Way You Need To Go …

W44_supernova_remnant - Copy
We are all, Children of the Universe. We come into being bearing so many Gifts and so much Love. We all have so much to Give.
The sad part is when we forget that we are a part of the Collective. That we too, deserve the love, nurture, support and abundance that we so freely and willingly give to others.
The sad part is when we deny ourselves the same flow of energy we seek to open for others. Some locate it within a rhetoric that says ‘if you suffer, you are sacred’.
Really? Why?
A lot of spiritual growth happens when you truly sit and feel into that question. Yes, suffering, feeling wounds, scars, trauma – can be an incredibly rewarding process. But why is being in pain any less sacred than being happy and fulfilled?
The political scientist in me says that’s an awfully convenient idea to tell a population unhappy with the way they lives are panning out. It makes for a great captive population.
‘What, your life isn’t great? Taxes are too high? The Plague? What, you want reforms? Err…Uhm… — Well… that’s just God’s way, and my, aren’t you blessed to suffer so … What do you mean why? Well, you’ve sinned!!!! (and depending on your perspective, that’s this life or lives past, or simply for having been born human and wanting to pro-create)’
The priestess in me looks at it as as a well-meaning but outdated adherence to a old paradigm that, frankly, does not hold water in the present (unless you really really want it to – and if you do, be aware that it is your choice).
And a lot of that goes back to what I’ve been writing recently on the wounded healer / woundology paradigm. There’s a very big difference between taking the time you need to work through it, and between self-sabotaging your healing process because (1) you don’t believe you can heal (2) you don’t believe you deserve to (3) the Ego says it’s holy to suffer, or (4) that you’ve sinned so badly you deserve to fry for the remainder of your existence/s
Now – this whole dialogue on sinning / attachment to woundedness / refusal to see yourself as deserving better – deserves its own book. I’m going to move onto a different aspect of the question.
Another reason (especially) healers who provide services to others have issues with healing / nurturing themselves is because of the ‘God will provide’ argument.
Let’s break that down shall we.
I recall a few weeks ago (and I’ve seen it a few times) an individual who was very upset with me charging for my services and going on my travels (it’s how I do my thing). He was so so so agitated and kept telling me how I needed to repent as God would provide me with I needed.
Truth be told, yes, God/Goddess has absolutely provided. I have a skillset which I can use, and people willing to honor the work I facilitate. I make sure that I can give back what I receive, not just through paid sessions. I actually do quite a bit of pro bono work, and donate when I can.
Plus – Spirit is the one that decides when, how much and how I do what I do. So, as I tend to say, ‘If you don’t like it, take it up with the Boss. I’m sure Ma-Kali can squeeze you in for an appointment 😉 ‘
Without much surprise, I find I never get this kind of judgment from polytheists – most cultures that believed in more than one form of deity has, inevitably, some form of being that celebrated Abundance, Prosperity, Success and Wealth.
The only ‘sin’ that I see happening is when a person gives only to receive, does not honor the balance of exchange of energy or measures their worth only in terms of dollars/currency made.
Plus, if we think about it – even within the paradigm of ‘God provides’, who is to say that flow of energy does not come through money?
Plus – if we were to hold to a very strict interpretation of that argument – by that same logic, no one would need any help from any human at all.
That’s not the paradigm we currently live in, so .. I’m not buying that argument so much. It uses the name of the Divine, but shames those who give into a place where they cannot receive.
If Ascended Beings still emoted the way most humans do, I’m sure that they’ve *facepalmed* quite a bit over the past few centuries.
So in summary:
Yes, you’ve got gifts to give.
Yes, you’ve got the right to be happy.
Yes, you’ve got the right to reap the rewards of your work.
No, you are not a sinner for wanting to do so.
No, you are not a sinner for wanting to not suffer.
No, you are not any less sacred for wanting to make sure your needs are met.
We have been conditioned to think this way. And it is time to lift those shackles.
Step away from anyone who has to shame you into becoming ‘spiritual’.
We’re moving into a New Paradigm, people.
Plus, we’re eventually moving into a global economy that has got to run in different ways. Once we deal with our collective issues surrounding money / energy exchange / women / the sacral chakra (all linked to the same vibration) .. I think this discussion will be completely obsolete.
Hope that happens sooner, rather than later x
Ciao for now!
Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess
Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved. Please see T&Cs below. I have had to update them recently as people have been sharing my work in ways that do not honor the time and effort put into them.
** 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. 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 ). You do not have the right to use copy-paste or otherwise reproduce this information on your webpage, FB page, or blog without obtaining prior written 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’. You do not have the right to use this information to promote or advertise your own services, webpage or commercial or non commercial programs – or to imply that the author endorses any of the above. The author shall not be held liable from any intentional, accidental or other consequences of acting upon, sharing, or engaging with this information in any form. Use of this information constitutes complete acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Image: W44 Supernova Remnant by By NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration, NRAO/AUI, JPL-Caltech, ROSAT [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Digitally Altered by Bairavee Balasubramaniam (08 December 2015).

 

 

 

.

 

 

Why Do We Serve? Questions for Spiritual Facilitators

Jean-Paul_Haag_-_A_helping_hand
Why do we do what we do?
Is it to feel useful?
Is it to feel powerful?
Is it to be seen as saintly?
Is it to find yourself on some kind of pedestal?
Is it for self-satisfaction?
Is it to find healing for your own wounds?
Is it to find forgiveness, worth or redemption?
These are questions, albeit uncomfortable ones for some, that I would recommend asking yourselves – as I do from time to time.
There are of course lovely, inspiring answers to the question of why we do what we do. But it really matters which parts of yourselves those answers come from.

Is the Heart that Speaks?
The Ego-Mind?
Or is it the Soul’s Whisper?

How you learn to differentiate these different perspectives, voices or levels of your own consciousness is also a part of the journey. As you gain more tools and deeper perspectives, the deeper you can tune in with yourself and learn more about why you do what you do.
Having that perspective transforms the work that you do and the level of integrity you bring to it. It immeasurably deepens the nature, quality and energy of what you bring to another person’s life – and to your own.
I’ll be writing more on this soon – consider this a brief introduction : )
Blessings,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess
Image: A helping hand: By Jean-Paul Haag (1854-1906) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

MERCURY-CONJUNCT-ISIS OPPOSED NEPTUNE RX-CONJUNCT-SIVA (7-8 Virgo-Pisces, 12-13 August 2015)

Mercury opposed Neptune

Blessings to All. Mercury opposes Neptune along the Virgo-Pisces axis, challenging us to be articulate, precise, analytical and pragmatic in our approach to the amorphous realms of transcendental spirituality. It’s a face-off between two energies which are so vital to the work that so many of us do as Spiritual Facilitators, Seekers, and Beings. Whilst Virgo is seeking definition, boundary and embodiment (to serve better), Pisces is seeking to dissolve, to remain unseen and unknown – and to connect with Mystery that is Spirit in undefinable ways. Neither is superior to the other.

Mercury is conjunct asteroid Isis (7 Virgo), representing the nurturing qualities of the Goddess Isis, and equally, the physical steps and tasks she must perform in order to provide that nurture. Neptune is conjunct asteroid Siva (8 Pisces), representing the formless, compassionate energy of Lord Shiva himself. The presence of these two asteroids deepens the archetypal nature of the astrological opposition. Here we see the Practical, Earthy Priestess face-to-face with the Boundless, Formless, Compassionate Masculine.

In a productive sense, the opposition between Virgo and Pisces and encourage us to find a balanced understanding of spiritual matters – in ways that integrate the Spirit, Mind, Body, Heart – everything. That would of course be, the ideal. But at times, the opposition becomes and unnecessary contest of strength and enforces false binaries.

For me, this manifested quite directly as transiting Mercury in Virgo is in my 3rd house whereas transiting Neptune in Pisces is in my 9th house. I ended up talking about a detailed plan of action for my dear brother (sibling – Mercury, 3rd house) who is like me, a spiritualist, albeit of a different kind. We used a combination of astrology (9th house) and, really, just listening to one another, to cover a lot of ground discussing issues quite vital to the Virgo-Pisces dynamic as we charted out some practical ideas to help him follow his Path with Spirit. It turned out to be quite a nurturing (Virgo) and spiritually rejuvenating (Pisces) conversation. Yay for us!

However, that’s a productive manifestation of this energy. It can manifest in different ways though, as the opposition forces two imbalanced expressions of Mercury-Neptune Retrograde or Virgo-Pisces to swing wildly to different extremes, and back.

Mercury in Virgo – in excess – may manifest as an overly harsh, critical, or nitpicky approach to the discussion of Service. Boundaries may appear to be set in stone, at least in the eyes of those who uphold them. Any alternative ways of viewing the same situation may then be criticized for not being ‘good enough’ or ‘spiritual enough’. In daily life, this would focus upon the daily rituals, routines and habits which we use as the building blocks of material existence. Issues surrounding health, wellness and daily work patterns can come to the fore. In the spiritual domain, the emphasis may be upon charting out the details, realizing the material requirements it takes to Serve Spirit in the way we are guided to. Mercury brings the focus of this energy to your thoughts, ideas, and ways you express them – probably a good day to postpone discussions on such topics with most people – unless you can bring in the Neptune-Siva archetype that can accept everything, even the feeling of being judged or misunderstood.

Neptune Retrograde in Pisces – in excess – can in itself, veer wildly between an indiscriminating acceptance of anyone and anything as being ‘spiritual’ – or – to a hard-edged rejection of anything that seems amorphous, indescribable or that requires one to ‘open up’ to Spirit. The middle path here is a willingness to experience Spirit, but with the knowledge that the Ego and its compulsions can make things appear differently from what they claim to be. Just try to avoid any spiritual extremes today – be it of what you might see as openness, or closed-mindedness. Take things you hear – and your reactions to them – with a grain of salt. Bear in mind that Neptune is famous for projections and distortions – if you feel insulted, chances are you’ve read something quite innocent in a way that triggers your own wounds. Though if someone is truly being a jerk to you, bring in Isis-Virgo and draw that line. Also bear in mind that Neptune is famous for its escapist tendencies, whenever it feels stressed or pressured in some way.

The interaction between the two can be quite interesting as Mercury and Neptune are in signs that they ‘rule’, so their influence will be a lot stronger. In my case, I found two of my sessions needed rescheduling due to mysterious (Neptune) electronic (Mercury) issues – which then meant I had time and head-space to have that unexpected conversation with my brother.

To sum it all up, we’re all balancing two different principles, or flows of energy in this opposition:

Surrender, Trust, Faith – Going with the Flow (so you can flow to wherever it is you need to Serve)
Integrity, Boundary, Holding your Ground – Manifesting the Form of Service (so you can channel the flow)

You can also read these ideas as they are woven into our discussions on the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, or Yin/Yang Dynamics, i.e. the Priestess Rising and the ‘New’ Compassionate Masculine.

They’re not mutually exclusive categories or ideas, just different sides of the same coin. Don’t be afraid to do both, or be both 🙂

In closing,

The waters of Pisces now look across to the fertile soil of Virgo. Together, they have the chance to sustain life. They need to come together in balance and respect for one another, lest all that remains is muddy water and barren soil.

How do you choose to embody that balance?

Where are you ‘too open’?
Where could you use a little more discretion and forethought in your spiritual experience?
Where do you need a boundary to better Serve?

What do you hold onto too tightly?
Where are you too closed?
Where do you need to open up to better Experience Spirit and Dance with its Mystery?

Whatever you choose will be right for where you need to be right now, but that doesn’t mean that will be your final, or absolute answer 🙂

Blessings to All,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

The Sky Priestess

WALKING THE PATH OF THE PRIESTESS: SOME REFLECTIONS

SkyPriestess

My fiancée was sharing my interview on Priestessing, Politics and the Indian Parliament with his colleagues in India yesterday. Suddenly, he realized that some (if not all of them) might see me as delusional, a madwoman or a fake would-be guru (or a combination thereof).

Part of me felt sad, and the other part smiled (I’ll explain why).

For you see – despite being the land of a million goddesses, and the origins of some of the greatest spiritual philosophies in the world, Indian culture at the day-to-day level is strangely disconnected from these ideals – either through a focus upon the ritual form (and not necessarily the spiritual), or through the cynical, hardened eyes of rationalism. There are of course, exceptions, but that tends to be a fair generalization.

Despite Indian philosophical-scriptural exposition on ideas such as – the sanctity of woman and the Feminine Principle, or the idea that we walk as Divine Beings, often unaware of our spiritual inheritance – these are ideas that are disconnected from everyday culture there. Yet such principles are put forward as emblems of Indian heritage and culture, particularly when idealized and interpreted through different cultural perspectives.

Whilst I get the basis for such a reaction to my work and presence, I honestly do not see it as my problem. I thought about what I would feel if someone levied those views to my face – and the answer was — well.. not very much at all..

The baggage, the judgment, the condescension – that’s an issue with the one choosing to perceive my path in a certain way. And remember – perceptions (mine/yours/our) are never accurate reflections of reality (whatever that is).

And I’ve experienced that in mild – and – extreme ways during my pilgrimages in India and Nepal. Even when viewed with suspicion, distrust, ridicule, and at times being bullied by the people there – I have always found that the temples themselves have welcomed me in ways that seem miraculous to others, especially by those who live there.

Despite the harsh challenges, I’ve never allowed that to stop me doing what I’m doing. It’s certainly not a pleasurable experience or one that I consider myself some great martyr for enduring. I see it as part of the work that needs to be done to transmute a particularly rigid manifestation of societal consciousness (the super-ego construct). Just gotta keep on walking.

It’s a choice I made, that I rarely even think about it, in all honesty.

The sadness I do feel about it – and that too seems to be going – is when I consider the extent of spiritual disconnection between the people, the land and its spiritual essence. Just about every saint I adore in the Indian context (and other parts of the world) has been seen as mad, delusional, or fraudulent. And they are better appreciated posthumously, long after their death when society gradually begins to catch up with the vibration these powerful spiritual-in-flesh-vessels bore.

And here’s where the smile comes in, as soon as I thought that through and wrote a reply to my fiancée, I saw this on FB (It’s about a saint I love, whose path comes closest to the way I walk with Kali-Ma – Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa):

Ramakrishna_trance_1879

“People of his times labeled Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as a madman. With their limited mind and prejudices, some creatures thought they had a license to judge him. The Paramahamsa was indeed mad but mad for and of the love of Divinity. He was committed to Mata Kali, the All-embracing Mother. He reached the state of perfection in the bhakti path not because of this belief or that faith. Even parrots have faith in their wings, fly wherever they believe seeds and nuts can be found. We wish we had one infinitesimal part of the Parmahamsa’s bhakti. Perfection comes through unconditional love and disinterested performance of action. If you are expecting anything – name and glory, badge and status from your karma, go join the boy-scouts or the marines for now but seek Grace at the earliest convenience. Jai Mata Kali.” ~ Yogi Ananda Saraswathi

**Now if that’s not a sign that the Universe has my back.. I really don’t know what is.

Chin up, eyes forward… and away we go!

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

PS – The interview in question that started all this! 🙂

SUN CONJUNCT SOUTH NODE IN ARIES, OPPOSED NORTH NODE IN LIBRA, T-SQUARE WITH KASSANDRA

Sun South Node

Blessings to all. The Sun conjuncts the South Node (10 Aries), whilst opposing the North Node (10 Libra) today. The alignment calls for greater balance in the way we express who we are as individuals (our Sense of Self) in partnership with others, or as part of some collaborative unit (Libra). One cannot purely give or take in any exchange of energies. There has to be a balance – whether it’s with your partner, friend, collaborator, with your spiritual facilitator (for reasons discussed below) or even with respect to the balance within.

Try to use this energy to look at the the various exchanges of energy that you’re a part of:

Are there people from whom you take and have never given back?
Are there people to whom you give and have never gotten anything back?
Are there people whom you expect to give you something upon demand? Perhaps consciously/unconsciously?
Are there people who expect the same from you?

Now whilst unconditional love, and the gift of giving that is its own reward applies to some areas in life, it isn’t quite a total fit. Not till all of us get to that vibration. Till then there are bound to be imbalances. Moreover, the idea of unconditional love at often times gets twisted– Too often has this rhetoric been used to guilt-trip people into serving others when they don’t need to, or staying in codependent relationships – sometimes it is the line of thought that martyr-caretaker archetype often takes on, even when their vibration is wholly different.

And on that subject – Love, my friends wears many different faces. At times, it is giving and warm, and at times it is detached and impersonal. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone who desires you to do their work for them (in an inappropriate way) is to simply say no. We call it tough love, but at times it is necessary.

In cases where one may not be matching the energetic contribution of another – then try to find ways to give back. Sometimes its a hug, or a sincere expression of gratitude, sometimes it’s bringing a person a home-made meal – try and find some meaningful way to express thanks for whatever that person has brought you.

In general – It’s a good time to re-evaluate whether you’re setting the right boundaries as you deal with other people. Know that the extreme manifestation of Aries is the bully, whilst it is the doormat for Libra. The first ignores the individuality of others, whilst the latter ignores the individuality of the Self.

Also an excellent time to work towards becoming more aware of aspects which you have hidden from yourself (typically what we call The Shadow Side). Try to make peace with yourselves, even the parts of you that you might find particularly annoying or difficult to stomach. Those are the bits that tend to need the most love, in any case. Try to be more accepting of the diversity within others as well. People are rarely, if ever, 2-dimensional characters.

KASSANDRA – THE IGNORED ORACLE

Both the Sun/South Node and the North Node square Kassandra at 11 Capricorn, making a T-Square alignment with Kassandra at the apex (pinnacle). Kassandra was an oracle who was punished by the god Apollo for rejecting his advances. Her curse was that her words would be ignored, despite the purity and worth. She was accused of being a liar, and her gifts were overlooked. She suffered at the hands of the Greeks as they lay siege to Troy (her warning to not let in the Trojan horse was of course, ignored) and died an unhappy death – brutally raped and murdered in the Temple of Athena.

Don’t let that alarm you – essentially – her archetype is one that asks us to speak out for our truth and to hold fast to our integrity – especially so for those who seek the path of the spiritualist or spiritual facilitator of some kind. The truths that emerge now are more likely to be related to the legacy we forge in this world, by way of our actions, our careers – the parts of life in which we place our energies to build something for the future.

Giving the question of balancing give-and-take I just discussed, with Kassandra’s involvement, it seems to me that spiritual facilitators are likely to be asking themselves similar questions. Am I letting myself be taken for granted? Do I need to set better boundaries? Am I valuing the wisdom of the Self that I bring into my Service? Am I doing the right thing, by being on this path? (Quite a lot of self-examination .. )

One of the biggest issues that facilitators face is knowing when and where to strike the right balance. They need to fulfill their commitments – whether it’s rent, paying the electric bill, paying off the mortgage / college debt, saving up for their kids’ college funds – and very often, the fact that they’re human and have those needs is forgotten.

In ancient times, those exchanges were more straightforward — as all one needed was the food to stay alive and materials, if need be, to maintain the temple and enable it to survive. But it is a different world today, and one that is rapidly evolving. Holding onto the same ideas, does justice to no one.

Different facilitators take a different view on this – but it’s certainly going to be one of those questions that many in the field ask themselves at this time. Though – generally speaking – Very rarely do you find a facilitator who gives too little, the balance sought is often from the other side – where they give too much.

On a different note, as the South Node conjuncts the Sun, we may also find ways (especially with Kassandra involved) to shine the light of awareness upon parts of our pasts that deal with oracular or prophetic gifts. For some, this may manifest as a deep re-membering of past times, even past lives.

OTHER ALIGNMENTS:

The North Node is inconjunct Neptune (8 Pisces). This is a time where the Deep States of Balance (acceptance of all extremes as equally valid) which Libra ultimately seeks can be challenged by, or in turn, challenge your view on how your Soul fits into the Cosmic Ocean/Collective Unconscious, i.e. your relationship with Spirit, or a Transcendental understanding Divinity. In a literal sense, it may be a relationship that you’re in, that you have with someone, that makes you question the spiritual views and understanding of You-And-God/Goddess/Divinity that may have once supported such an arrangement. Inconjuncts are generally uncomfortable aspects, ones that are not satisfied with easy compromises and that demand resolutions. Those with bodies between 5-11 Taurus or Leo will experience this as a Yod (Finger of Fate) that pushes you to a decision point of some kind involving the two.

Pluto (15 Capricorn) is loosely squared the Sun/South Node and North Node (if you’re willing to take an orb of more than +/- 3 degrees for the Nodes). Its transformative lessons also weave themselves within this alignment. The focus of the Sun is already somewhat activated by trine energy from Jupiter Retrograde( 12 Leo) and Saturn Retrograde (4 Sagittarius).

The Sun trines, whilst the North Node sextiles Sauer at 10 Leo – Sauer can refer to astronomy, space exploration, aeronautics (in the literal sense) and to a more mystical, etheric form of Cosmic Connection. A day where inspiration can strike, or be made apparent through our connection with the skies. Cloudwatching, astronomy, astrology, thinking about your relationship with the Cosmos – this can be a potentially fruitful way in which to bridge both The Sun’s and the North Node’s energy. In Leo, Sauer’s energy focuses upon the sensual, creative, child-like or more playful ways in which we can find this connection. It may be externalized and appear as a lesson/guidance/circumstance involving a romantic partner, a child, or even the inner child Archetype within.

The exact Sun-North Node opposition took place a 2:06 pm, GMT + 8, March 31, 2015. (About 3.5 hours ago). You’ll be feeling its continued effects over the next 1-2 days.

Blessings to All,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
bairaveebalasubramaniam.com ; fb.com/theskypriestess

Page: Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

Image – Kassandra.jpg- By cs:User:Pernak (“Own work”) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015

HAPPY MOMENTS IN PRIESTESSING

DSCF3133

There’s a deep sense of satisfaction in knowing that the work one does is fundamentally helping another person re-structure their life in a powerful way. There’s a sense of joy where you recognize that you’re just a stepping stone, or facilitative step in that person’s journey -and in that role – you did something real in their life.

Not a feeling I know how to put into words. But it’s a warm and happy one.

It’s not an easy vocation – being a Priestess. There’s a lot of tests, a lot of inner discipline needed, a lot of humility that comes with the task. You keep having to learn and re-learn, and continually transform the meaning of what that is. You keep having to birth and re-birth yourself. Some of that process is joyful, but you also know that it’s spiritual work.

But what makes me the happiest – as part of the work that I do – is hearing back from people that have somehow been moved, transformed and/or touched in some fundamental way with the stuff I do/write/speak about.

And even then it’s not the ‘I’ did it type of feeling .. more like a .. ‘good work was done here today’ sort of thing.

It’s certainly not a holier-than-thou feeling, nor is it any kind of ownership or regular expectation.

It just bubbles up sometimes, from deep within.

It comes from a happy place in the pit of one’s belly where a little girl child is excitedly clapping her hands with glee. Like butterflies in the stomach. Golden, happy, bubbly butterflies.

And there is this deep, rising sense of joy.

We did good. We did something useful. We were of Service.

Lots of Love,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

‪#‎perksofpriestessing‬ ‪#‎goldenbubblybutterflies‬

© Text and Image ‘In front of JB Mariamman Temple 13/3/15’ by Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015