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,
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)], 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?
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 😀
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
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!
In early November 2014, we began a journey that transformed the way we – as individuals and as a collective – understood the energies of The Goddess and the Divine Feminine.
Since then, over the past 11 months, we have (almost continuously) had a series of Grand Fire Trines in the sky, involving bodies like Uranus, The Goddess Asteroids (Pallas Athena, Juno, Vesta, Ceres), Jupiter in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius (pre-Retrograde), Mercury, The Sun and so on. The energies of the Fire Signs were perpetually lit by bodies connected with different facets or aspects of the Divine Feminine.
In the next few hours, that 11-month long focus comes to an end, as the Moon transits out of Leo and ends its trine with Uranus in Aries and Pallas Athena in Sagittarius.
When I first noticed this near-constant cosmic beacon of fire lit in the sky in 2014, I saw it as the birth of a new beginning. At the time, so many of us were only just waking up from the upheaval of the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014, peaking in intensity during April/May 2014. As far as I am aware, the last time we had anything that intense, in fact, for a far shorter period of time, was during The Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany (the 1930s).
In that context, the Great Goddess Fire Trine, to me, seemed like a Goddess-send. It fueled us all with a sense of – if not optimism – then at least the sheer will to push through, push forward and explore the Birthing of a New Self, from the Ashes of the Old. Much of that theme continued through with the Saturn-in-Scorpio retrograde and transit that concluded not too long ago (September 17/18, 2015).
Whilst there are some exceptions, mostly by way of the Moon’s Transit through Leo, aspecting a (later) trine between Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius, I haven’t seen any further Grand Fire Trines for the next 2-year period.
It spells the end of a chapter of growth and intense energetic acceleration, but right on its heels we see the next chapter beginning – with the North Node’s upcoming transit through Virgo (October 10, 2015 – April 19, 2017).
Here’s where all of those powerful realizations, awakenings and energetic upgrades within the different layers of the Self are asked to ‘get real’ in a different kind of way. Whilst remaining authentic to Self, the challenge is more so about learning how to manifest an Earthly Path of Service as a Facilitator/Priest or Priestess honoring the Feminine (and ideally the Masculine as well). It’s about learning how to Serve with Humility, knowing that the work you do in 3-D reality is just as important as ascending to different states of Being. I take inspiration from the Bodhisattvas, beings who had attained such states of realization but who chose to return to be of Loving Service.
In practical terms, we’re going to be seeing a renewed focus on: daily rituals, habits, routines, health/healing practices, re-discovering the the sanctity of the Womb & the Priestess Traditions, and so on. We’re going to collectively learn the need for earthly boundaries whilst we work with the vibration of unconditional, boundless compassion, represented by the South Node in Pisces. We’re going to learn how to honor the material requirements of being a Vessel that channels spiritual energy or performs spiritual services, and much, much, more.
It’s a very rich vein of growth for spiritual seekers and facilitators, irrespective of the paths, labels or belief systems they identify with. What I’m most excited about is the fact that we’re also going to be focusing on Discernment, or the need to differentiate between different types of spiritual energies, vibrations and experiences without falling into the trap of ego-based judgment. It is one thing to reject something because you have been conditioned to dislike or fear it, and it is another to move away from something that simply does not resonate with you. Similar dynamics on the surface, but vibrationally distinct from one another.
Such is the Journey Ahead.
Happy Beginnings, Everyone!
Original article on The Great Goddess Fire Trine: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-bb
Image ‘Muthu Mariamman Temple, Ambattur – 2015 – colour enhanced’ & Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
It’s a time to Reconnect with You, Others, Loved Ones, Children, The Sun, anything and anyone that moves in resonance with the Self that remains. We’ve been in a particularly powerful ‘descent’ phase with Venus in Retrograde. Many things have been burnt, processed, turned to dust, released with Love – and others have survived the test of fire and begun to glow even more brightly!
Many of us – are in re-birthing phases now – emerging out of the cocoon as it were
Be slow, be gentle – take your time to fully ‘wake-up’ from the process.
Even Lions need a little bit of a warm-up before they Roar 😉
Image: USMC-091024-M-0902C-005.JPG, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The energy of the Dark Goddess has been building for some time now, like the low rumble of thunder gradually getting louder and louder before the full-blown storm eventually hits. With Jupiter’s transit through Leo, that energy has found expression through the many pathways and paradigms of mentoring, guidance and teaching that focus upon the Wisdom of the Womb Center (which we all have) and The Sacral Chakra.
A powerful, emergent wave of teachers, guides and seekers have begun to remind us of our innate, authentic, child-like, joy; of a life that is led as a celebration; of the flow of creative juices that precede great works and energies of manifestation and uninhibited expression. Much of this work necessarily involves the Rising Principle of the Assertive Feminine and overlaps with Her Dark Counterpart.
This powerful wave of energy and guidance is heading to a point of climax, with the exact trine between Jupiter (27 Leo) and The Galactic Center of the Milky Way (27 Sagittarius). The energy of the Feminine and Her Rise is woven into this powerful cosmic alignment by way of Eris-conjunct-Persephone (23 Leo) that trine the two, creating a Grand Fire Trine.
Whilst I’d originally planned to write this piece featuring the Jupiter/Gal. Center trine as its center-piece, I felt it necessary to situate this aspect within the larger context of the Rise of the Feminine and the Re-claiming of the Shadow. It cannot be isolated from this narrative, nor consigned to a footnote – for the rumble of the Dark Goddess, is no longer just a rumble, but a fully-fledged Storm…
So, what does this Grand Fire Trine encourage us to do or become?
Eris (23 Aries), The Dark Goddess, asks us to Roar in the Heat of Battle, to Rage against all that is an Inauthentic Expression of Self. She rejects the institutional and systemic suppression of the Feminine Principle, her Wrath Rising as She Asserts Her Right to Simply Be. We are called to rebel against patriarchal scripts that prevent the fullest expression of the feminine principle. For instance, the furore against Instagram’s banning of the #goddess hashtag comes to mind as a clear example (bear in mind that Uranus is also nearby in Aries, ruling electronic communication and social media platforms).
Persephone (23 Aries), daughter of Ceres and wife or co-regent of Pluto, asks us to look to Our Individual and Collective Descent into the Realm of the Underworld. Here, the Daughter of the Earth was once taken into the Shadow Realm by force, abducted and raped by Pluto. At first a captive, she then becomes a Queen. Persephone asks us to face all that we consider traumatic, taboo, unpleasant, mysterious, frightening – all the things we wish we didn’t have to deal with, only to discover their power magnified through the willful act of denial and suppression. What Persephone reveals is that our fears and monsters transform in the power of our fearless gaze and often become our allies, as we view them through the lens of compassion.
Some argue that Persephone had a greater agency over her seemingly-forced abduction and literal descent into the sub terra – even so – the narrative of descent, abuse/trauma/strife and re-emergence – remains intact, and is reminiscent of Goddess Inanna, Psyche, and so on.
Together, on the Battlefield of the Shadow-Realms, Eris and Persephone stand side by side, showing us the way to Reclaim our Power and to Stand in the Sacred Fires of the Self. As we take that traumatic, messy, cathartic, intense and powerful journey within, we discover a familiar face: The Dark Goddess – once proud Matriarch of the Earth, buried deep beneath layers and layers of patriarchal narrative and re-invention, vilification and denigration.
And Still, She Glows – Still, She Bleeds – Still, She Nurtures. From sparks, to embers, to fiery coals that burn through the storybooks, the scriptures, the shame… Droplets of sacred, scarlet red oozing through the black veil cast over all that is taboo, fringe, forbidden – and equally – over so much of the sacred, ancient, traditions of the Goddess.
The Shadow is being Re-claimed, Re-written with Sacred Blood long forgotten.
And to this inferno, this raging fire of Awakening and Radical Self-Acceptance, we see, connected by way of trines, a Triangle of Flame lit by Jupiter (27 Leo) and the Galactic Center (27 Sagittarius), to which we now turn.
Jupiter awakens us all to the Path we need to take, that we may find the most expansive understanding of who we are with respect to the rest of Creation. In this context, guidance appears as flames, beacons, lit through the Underworld, a trail reaching from the Belly of the Earth to the Dark Womb of the Galaxy.
Direction and Guidance appears through guides, mentors, astrologers, spiritual teachers, priest/esses and others recognized as Wisdom-Speakers. In Leo, the focus lies upon these lessons upon the Sacral and Heart Chakra, the tender connection between sensuality, romance, passion, joy, creativity and children. We are called to speak our truth, create our worlds and celebrate our authenticity with the playful, tender, fearless and naturally graceful expression of the Lion-Child.
It is a natural connection for those who work with the Rising Feminine to make. Women in particular, bear within their wombs, the memory of repression – and with it a rage that convention forbids them to articulate. Much of the expression that comes through now will channel this deep-seated Rage – which is wonderful as a first step of validation, but will later be followed by compassion-forgiveness-acceptance-release-integration. It is vital to remember that this expression facilitates the clearing of the Sacral, but that we need not be defined by or overly attached to the emotions that come through – for they too undergo an alchemical change of state.
Jupiter amplifies the need to Rise, Assert, Rebel and Unapologetically Be – as taught to us by Eris. It shines the light upon the lessons of the Underworld – the deep subconscious, our experiences of trauma, shame, regret, guilt, deep rage, and so on – that we may begin the alchemy-qua-Persephone: The transmutation of the ‘negative’ or ‘painful’ Shadow into an acceptance and embodiment of its Sacred, Regal, and Primordial Power.
But what of the Galactic Center of the Milky Way – what I like to call the Dark Womb of our Galaxy – with its Super-massive Black Hole?
The Dark Womb of our Galaxy calls to us with a pulse – a rhythmic beating that continually seeks to expand our vision, imagination and understanding of the Self and our place within the Wider Cosmos. In Sagittarius, its energies mirror that of Jupiter, which it is trined. Information can be ‘downloaded’ or accessed through mentors and guides (both living and departed) – this includes spiritually evolved beings such as Saints, Bodhisattvas, and the like – but also through focused meditation where appropriate.
What the Galactic Center will whisper to you individually I cannot say, only that it will ask you to look at your self and life in terms of the larger, grander perspective. Know that you fit into an incredible, intricately woven tapestry of consciousness and energy that connects you with the rest of Creation.
This expanded perspective will fan the Fires of the Self, reveal the full import of the wisdom of the Goddess-in-Exile, and will situate that reawakening in the fullest expression of your authentic, creative, tender, vulnerable, sensual, playful and beautiful self. But make no mistake – it’s not going to be easy. It might be engaging, life-transforming, invigorating, rejuvenating, but no, not easy.
Many possibilities for expansion will be revealed, and much of that requires a release of older forms of knowledge, belief-systems and paradigms that we – for better or worse – have become comfortable with. Finding your Path may be what you’ve been yearning to know for so long, but seeing it in person may in fact, be terrifying.
The Dark Goddess, in all Her compassion and beauty, is an exacting, sometimes terrifying, teacher (comes with the territory). Her lessons, guidance and requirements may stand in stark contrast to the life you expected to be living. And for many, releasing what is known and surrendering to the scarlet-black Unknown can be as painful as walking on hot coals. How you experience Her Guidance depends upon you, your Path and your approach to spiritual evolution.
For those of you who ready and willing to Heed the Call, in whatever form it takes for you – enjoy the wild, wild ride back into her Womb, and out again – Goddess knows where – not knowing is a part of the fun 😉
In short – It’s a wonderful time to be alive as we witness and experience an intense, pulsating alignment of energy that brings together the Dark Goddess, The Spiritual Path and Dark Womb of the Galaxy in a Sacred Dance of Fire, Shadow and Spirit.
The exact Jupiter-Galactic Center trine (27 ‘4 ”27 Leo – Sagittarius) takes place at 16:54 pm (UTC time) on 28.7.2015.
Blessings To All,
Image: Khadgayogini LACMA M.85.293.1.jpg, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Text & Post Content © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
POSTPONED!!! We have a 2-hour special on a very very, interesting topic that we’ll be exploring with three wonderful guest speakers! We’re going to be looking at “The Creative, Conscious Vagina: Female Sexuality and Transcendental Spirituality” with Katharine Krueger, Priestess Kerri Ryan MA and Marie de Kock.
Join me, your host, Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD, as we explore the powerful connection between feminine sexuality and spirituality in conversation with these powerful, insightful women.
Katharine speaks to us about the role of ancestral healing and the ripples across the generational lines that womb healing can provide, ways in which we can begin to tune into our bodies and the fact that speaking about the vagina is not just a ‘woman’s issue’, but rather, is a part of the fabric of human consciousness.
Kerri shares with us channeled insights on the ancient priestess traditions dedicated to the Goddess Ishtar-Inanna, the rite of hieros gamos, and what sexual priestesses – those who embodied the archetype of ‘the sacred prostitute’ were actually doing in ancient rites – and how we can embody them today.
Marie speaks to us on the 5-Dimensional model of the human energy system, in connection with the Earth and the Cosmos, the Torodial Energy Field and its relationship with sexuality. We discuss the profound energetic difference between having ‘adrenalin-sex’ and sex that involves the ‘implosive orgasm’ – and more.
It’s going to be a very rich, juicy, and thought-womb-consciousness provoking episode, inspired my reading of Naomi Wolf’s ” Vagina: A New Biography “. Highly recommended reading!
You can listen to this 2-hour special episode LIVE at www.wgtrlive.com – airing at 4 pm, Central US-CST/Chicago time zone on the 26th of May.
The show will also be available for on-demand listening within a few days’ time.
Blessings to All! I hope many of you tune in for what promises to be the most exciting episode thus far on The Dark Mother’s Children!
KATHARINE KRUEGER trains women to lead Coming of Age Circles for girls. The mission of her community, Journey of Young Women, is to empower girls on their journey toward womanhood with mentorship and rites of passage. In Coming of Age Circles, girls learn to take responsibility for their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and sexual well-being. This work is transformative for the girls, their families and the mentors. Katharine is also a mechanical engineer, qualified facilitator, Waldorf-inspired educator, former Director of a Zen Sunday School, and the parent of two young adults. She is on Facebook at Journey Of Young Women and Occupy Menstruation. Learn more athttp://journeyofyoungwomen.org
PRIESTESS KERRI RYAN, MA is a woman of Goddess, teaching and sharing on sacred sexuality, the Goddess and the sacred feminine. Her intention is to invoke the goddess back into women’s lives and to awaken their authentic sexual nature in order to know themselves as divine. She is an international workshop facilitator / speaker / writer and author, as well a qualified kundalini dance facilitator teaching through the medium of dance how to awaken and utilise kundalini and shakti energy. She was initiated as a Priestess of the Goddess in 2007 with the Order of the Pomegranate Grove and holds the archetype of the sacred prostitute. She wrote her masters thesis on HIEROS GAMOS: Sacred Sexuality Ancient and Modern”. She lives on a fabulous rural property in northern New South Wales, Australia, where she runs workshops and private sessions for both women and men from her yurt temple space. She is currently completing a qualification in sexological bodywork, while trying to finish her first book on the channelled memories of a past lifetime as a priestess, entitled “Mandipa, Priestess of Ishtar”. Also head on over to her website atwww.goddessofsacredsex.com – She’s also on FB at Goddess of Sacred Sex.
MARIE DE KOCK is a Reiki Master, Female Spirituality Coach and Author of “Heal your Feminine Essence: A Transformative Journey Within: For Women who Wish to be Free. Link: www.amazon.com/Heal-Your-Feminine-Essence-Tran…/…/B00U7WZ31M – You can also find her on FB at Heal Your Feminine Essence
PRIESTESS BAIRAVEE BALASUBRAMANIAM PHD is a scholar-researcher, Goddess worshiper, motivational speaker, intuitive astrologer, author and poetess. She sees the Movement of Spirit in every waking moment, every form, every Chapter in this Divine Dance of Life and Existence. She runs several Facebook pages devoted to the Rising Consciousness of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine and writes extensively on her www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com . As a “Priestess with a PhD,” Bairavee weaves her intuitive knowledge-through-gnosis, along with her academic commitment to in depth-research and analytical rigour together. Seeing spirituality as ‘not just something you do for a few minutes a day’ or ‘not just what is written in texts’, she explores the intersections between the spiritual, social, political, ritual, cultural and transcendental. Some of her topics of interest are: the breaking of spiritual stereotypes, the difference between the text and embodiment of spiritual understanding, the notion of ‘cultural appropriation’ and the challenges of cross-cultural interpretation of spiritual insights—and—living, speaking, writing and embodying ‘The Path of the Dark Goddess’.
Vanakam, Namaste and Blessings to Everyone Across The Globe,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
Founder-Admin of The Goddess, The Serpent and The Sea: Building Pathways of Light; The Dark Mother’s Children; Honoring The Dark Mother: A Temple-Space; I AM Rising: The Goddess Awakens; Aanmavin Kural: The Voice of The Soul E-Magazine; Shiva, My Love and Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
Blessings to all. This post is about the other dimensions of change coming to us all, triggered by the powerful, final exact square of Uranus/Pluto – as expressed through Mercury in Pisces, Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius-Scorpio, Venus at 29 Aries, the Moon in Aquarius, and so on. Practical guidance and more information on Uranus-Pluto specifically is provided here: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-nW – I reccomend reading both pieces together for a fuller picture of what’s going on right now.
The biggest planetary change of late has been the start of the Saturn Retrograde on March 13. Over the next 13-weeks, Saturn will move backwards into Sagittarius, then Scorpio – asking us to revisit the lessons of the Underworld, the use/abuse of power, the honoring of sacral/intimate boundaries and the chance to resurrect the self from the fires of transformation. Right now it’s still in Sagittarius, but its energy has already ‘changed direction’ so to speak. Energetic lessons are processing now with a deeper inner focus, than what was just a week or two ago. Decisions made now feel like they have a greater weight and a heavier influence on karmic imprints and dynamics we’re working through. Bear in mind that Saturn is squared Mercury and Neptune (discussed below).
Mercury shifted into Pisces on the same day (March 13), allowing us to to find messages, insights, breakthroughs, information and the possibility of communicating with the deeper aspects of self – through all that Pisces represents. Here is where we go, as I like to say, ‘fingertip to fingertip with the Divine’. Here is the realm of the Collective Unconscious, the waters of the Cosmic Ocean that unite us all. Meditative practices that seek to transcend the mind and ego will be beneficial, as will simply allowing yourselves to ‘just be’. Practice compassion and with it, a detached perspective. Stay away from the cycles of blame, shame, guilt – and the archetypes of ‘victim’, ‘martyr’, ‘narcissist’, ‘abuser’ and so on. Generally good advice, but especially so now.
I feel that most people will be better off processing by themselves and finding the ways which are right for them to do so. Those who feel particularly vulnerable, would of course be advised to surround themselves with good company and in a supportive, space. It’s really not an alignment with a ‘one size fits all’ type of solution, which is why I’m keeping this post fairly open-ended.
Mercury is in a loose conjunction with Neptune, which stresses the need for open-endedness and a willingness to embrace the Mystery and its non-linear brand of magic. This is also why many are responding to the challenge of this alignment with the (quintessential) Piscean response of acceptance and surrender to the Divine. Remember that surrender is not the same as ‘giving up’ or ‘calling it quits’. It’s a more open, receptive and compassionate place born of Faith.
With the square to Saturn Retrograde, it’s important not to get too fixed in your own ideas of Truth, and to accept that everyone has the right to choose their own paths. Seeking to educate others on the perceived ‘folly’ of their ways is probably going to be an exercise in frustration … so I’d suggest avoiding that. Live and let live, being the operant phrase.
During the actual (exact) square (2:46 am, March 17th, GMT/UTC time), Venus will be at the Anaretic/Teminal 29th degree of Aries. Many of us will be feeling the need to break through some earlier understandings of Self and the right/need to Assert it in some way. Many of us will begin to release from Ego-centered perception, and to begin a new chapter, seeing the Self through the eyes of Spirit. Ideas surrounding what constitutes the Fiery/Assertive forms of Femininity will also undergo a significant change. More nuance, subtlety and understanding will come in working with the Solar Archetype of the Feminine (nope, She’s not always associated with the Moon, nor He with the Sun).
We will learn when to burn, when to roar, when to blaze through – and when that’s simply not required. This applies to just about everyone. The Goddesses who call to me the strongest at this time are Durga-Ma, Pratyangira Devi and Narasimhmi-Ma (fiery, Lion Goddesses). I wouldn’t be surprised if others were feeling drawn to similar figures in other pantheons – such as Lady Bast, Lady Sekhmet, and so on.
Those of you wondering about the Masculine, bear in mind that Mars (one of His representations) is in loose conjunction with Uranus itself, trined Jupiter Retrograde in Leo. The transformation is one that cuts across the male-female binary, in other words.
These shifts in self-perception and understanding of the Feminine will pave the way for a healthier, more grounded, more equitable value system through which we perceive, seek to manifest and relate to – as Venus enters Taurus. Here is when we begin to set the seeds of a new form or ideal of stability and rootedness. Here is when we begin to see how we are all connected through the womb of the Earth, as Her children, custodians, and recipients/givers within the flow of Abundance. Here is where we take that breakthrough energy with the Fires of Self and realize how they come from Mama-Gaia – and that all of us who exist on this planet share that same energetic origin and connection. It’s a powerful moment for those who work with the energy of the planet and the Rising Feminine Principle and an excellent time to clear the debris and prepare for the work of planetary healing.
Last but not least, the Aquarian Moon will be connecting your emotions and intuition the detached abstraction of mind in beautiful (what one might call whole-brain) balance. The Moon will be trined to the North Node in Libra and sextiled the South Node in Aries. This ‘Wedge’ alignment will help us find a way to navigate the karmic gauntlet and discover new ways of finding a deeper, truer sense of Balance and Co-existence, without compromising the truth of the Self.
The Aquarian Moon forms a second Wedge (opposing Juno, sextiling Saturn Retrograde with Saturn trined Juno). This particular Wedge teaches us more about opening to the Divine Feminine (Juno) and the soul-level experiences that seek to complete and complement the lessons you have come to learn. In Leo (and now direct), Juno speaks to the expressive, sacral-powered, sensual and creative aspects of the Feminine, as well as the archetype of the Lion/Big Cats. Little wonder that I’m drawn to the Goddesses listed above. In day to day practice – this alignment calls you to – Use your head, use your heart, and try not to take others’ judgment of your path personally, and avoiding judging others in turn.
The Moon will, later in the day (on March 17), oppose Jupiter Retrograde before it activates the above-mentioned Wedge. Even more opportunities for learning, expanding the understanding of Self, connecting with Guidance, healing the Sacral & Inner Child Archetype … The Moon will also be inconjunct to Black Moon Lilith at 12 Virgo. Those with placements at or near 12 Cancer will experience this as a profound Yod – Finger of Fate/Karma/God/Goddess Placement! The inconjunct alone pushes us all to develop a more balanced outlook on the energies of the Dark Mother and Dark Priestess archetype. (And no, Darkness is not Evil, it’s just a different form of energy – a lot of Sacred Nurturing can come from that space)
There’s even more happening in the skies – it’s just a very busy time in the cosmos. What I’d ideally want you to take away from this piece (at minimum) is the understanding that the Uranus-Pluto shift isn’t just focused on Aries and Capricorn – it links up to so many other houses, bodies and placements in the sky (and in our natal charts). As you would have noticed … I haven’t even talked about the significance of the approaching Solar Eclipse & Equinox in all this – stay tuned for that in a later pieces.
There’s multiple layers and dimensions to the transformation that is taking place right now – making it a very exciting time to be alive! <3 <3 <3
Blessings, and much Love to All,
Text & Image ( Sayapuram Mariamman JB, 13-3-15) – © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015
I love the energies of Virgo. She represents the Archetype of the Priest/ess (and Spiritual Facilitators in general). She is sensual, earthy, pragmatic, analytical, fully embodied and uncompromising in her ideals. She is independent, self-sufficient, as sexual as she chooses to be. She knows how to work the details, organize, schedule and shift things around so she can achieve her goals. Whilst she can facilitate or serve (when she chooses), she knows the ways of the world and can learn to draw boundaries and ensure that there is a fair exchange of energy. She can discern through the many psychic impressions that appear, knowing which is true, which is not – what needs work on, and what needs to be let go of. She sees the material world as a sacred expression of the Spiritual and knows that she cannot disregard it in her practice.
Distortions in the way we interpret female presence and power have led to a widespread idea that Virgo is somehow fussy, sexually frigid and neurotic. Whilst this is a possible manifestation of that energy (in one extreme of imbalance), it is not the Virgo-Virgin that Vestals of Ancient Rome and other Priestesses and ancient Goddess cultures represented.
We have more to learn and re-member about this sign, particularly in its links with parthenogenic birth, brilliantly expressed in Den Poitras’ Parthenogenesis: Women’s Long-Lost Ability to Self-Conceive – a book that I had the pleasure and privilege of reviewing and endorsing.
No, it’s not man hating/shaming, and no, it doesn’t say that sex is bad, or that men are lesser beings. The book is itself written by a man seeking to honor the Sacred Feminine.
You can find out more on my take on Virgo in a writeup + video I posted sometime ago called ‘Reclaiming the Virgin’, here: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-5i – That was written in honor of the Virgo New Moon (25th August 2014), whose seeds we now reap – with some discussion on the Pisces-Virgo dynamics.
Look back to the 25th of August, 2014 to see the seeds of intentions that you set, which have now come to some kind of fruition. The Full Moon itself occurs at 14’50 Virgo (Moon) – Pisces (Sun) at 18:04 (GMT/UTC time), March 5th 2015 – so in a little under 6 hours’ time (from the time of posting).
Now we get to the specifics of this Full Moon Herself and how it links up to the Archetype of ‘The Wounded Mother’, as represented here by Black Moon Lilith, Persephone, Hera and Iris. There’s a lot more going on with this alignment, but I felt that this was the most important aspect of it.
The energy of Virgo opens the doors to finding self-sufficiency and the kind of service/facilitation we can provide to others, if we choose to do so. The Moon intensifies the emotional and intuitive aspects of this energy, and links it powerfully with our experience/connection with the Mother Archetype.
This can be a profound time to Serve the one who Facilitated your Birth, to find ways that both you and She can both heal, forgive and nurture one another once more. Certain wounds are ones that carry across the generations, passed down from mother (and father) to child. You might call it part of cellular memory, or a spiritual imprint, or the powerful connection you shared with her, gestating in her watery, dark womb. We begin listening and learning, even from within.
You may find this with your biological mother, or Divine energies that connect you with ‘The Mother’ – or both.
Note that the Mercury-Vesta-Circe conjunction calling for the healing of The Sacral Chakra (Children, Creativity, Sensuality) and the connection with the Womb (for all beings) still bears heavy influence in the skies – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-mv – reccomended meditations and practical tools are listed at the start of the article.
I ended up waking up in the middle of the night (had left the TV on) to a beautiful, beautiful, film called ‘Stepmom’ with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. They play out the projection, manifestation and reconciliation of these ‘wounds among women’ in a powerful, beautiful, way. Definitely worth the watch.
Another suggestion is to light a candle, incense, or a lamp – hold a piece of rose quartz or unakite in your hand – and to simply ask the Universe to send waves of love, peaceful healing and grace to your relationship with your Mother/The Divine Mother/both – in a way that does not negate Free Will, that is in the best interests of All, etc.. Never underestimate the power of focused intention and prayer 🙂
Those who wish to get deeper in understanding the Nature of the Mother Wound this alignment helps us heal, keep reading! Let’s look at what the astrology tells us :
Conjunct the Moon:
BLACK MOON LILITH – THE DARK GODDESS – (10 VIRGO) represents the aspect of feminine energy that is collectively sidelined or hidden as it is somehow too dangerous, too unpredictable, too able to challenge the status quo. Her energy is closer to the Crone, rather than the Maiden. Black Moon Lilith rises in her capacity as a facilitator, showing us the power of independent choice – and making us understand that Service is not the same as being Subservient – Purity is not incompatible with Sexuality, and so on. You can also find out more on Black Moon Lilith in Virgo athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C82L1TXltsg
IRIS – THE RAINBOW MESSENGER GODDESS – (15 VIRGO) speaks to us of where we can lose ourselves chasing folly (‘trying to find the end of the rainbow), or where we can – through discipline and a steady, measured path – find satisfaction (‘the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). Iris also speaks to the cleansing and cathartic power of tears. In some way she bridges both the sensitivity of Pisces and the pragmatism of Virgo – both intuition and intellect, spirit and matter.
Conjunct the Sun:
PERSEPHONE AT 13 PISCES asks us to look at the parent-child relationship, and where one is overly attached to another. In mythology, Ceres/Demeter’s grief over losing her daughter to Pluto (the God of the Underworld who effectively abducts, rapes and co-rules the realm with her) – causes the Mother-Nurturer to withdrew her gift of abundance. The world turns wintry and bleak, and a deal is made so a her daughter is returned to her for half the year, creating the cycle of the seasons. Persephone also asks us to consider themes of life, death, re-birth and the sexuality of the younger, maiden archetype. As co-sovereign of the Underworld, she is privy to its magick, mysteries and arcane powers.
Opposed the Virgo Moon, Persephone’s lesson here asks us to look at boundaries – sexual – spiritual – psychic – intimate – parental – and to learn where they are best set. She speaks to us of ‘coming back’ from experiences of trauma, wounding and psychic/emotional death. (Asteroid Requiem at 19 Virgo supports the emphasis on death, through the ceremonial and ritual perspective – and the role of the facilitator in supporting the journey for both the living and the departed)
HERA AT 16 PISCES represents the archetype of the jealous, scheming wife and controlling mother – somewhat overshadowing her role as one of the most powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine in Greco-Roman mythology. We are constantly reminded, through myth of her supposed vindictiveness – with little commentary as to how she’s supposed to feel about her polyamorous husband, Zeus. She is shown as a mother who manipulates her children in other to exact vengeance on her husband (or his other offspring), in some form.
Like Black Moon Lilith, Hera’s Divinity is heavily projected upon in ways that make her terrifying and unappealing – both as a wife and as a mother. Opposed Black Moon Lilith and the Virgo Moon, Hera’s reminder is once again, the realization that what we do as powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine (particularly women) collectively tap into and challenge certain ideals of what women ‘ought to be’. This form of projection and mis-interpretation itself constitutes a powerful spiritual wound surrounding the ‘strong mother’ archetype – for all those who identify as female and perform these roles.
Again, it comes back to re-connecting with the Wounded Mother, she who has been Suppressed, She who has been misunderstood or misinterpreted. She, whose wounds are kept alive in the Bodies of her Sons and Daughters. We all have that archetype within us, and it is one that is in need of collective healing.
Blessings to All,
Image: Mother Goddess and Child LACMA M.82.42.2.jpg – Los Angeles Country Museum of Art – Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons [text with graphic, my own]
Text + Graphic Layout © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015
Blessings all. The Vesta-Moon conjunction indicates an emotional focus upon the devotion, intensity and continual need to give up aspects of the Path of Service that so many of us walk upon. Vesta is constantly releasing energies that no longer serve, sacrificing them to the Fires of Spirit. In so doing, she regenerates her vitality, enthusiasm, power and energetic connection with the Path she defines her Self and Service by. In Aquarius, our questions of Spiritual Service and Dedication are aligned to expressing the gifts of the Individual to serve a Collective Need, sacrificing the Ego-Mind’s notion of ‘I’ in the process. It can also be a time for heightened energies of manifestation and a sense of direct communion with the Cosmos. Mother Moon brings us her receptivity, intuitiveness through powerful psychic and emotional channels at this time, allowing us to bridge our Paths with the energies of the Heart and the Mind 🙂
With the inconjunct to Black Moon Lilith at 9 Virgo – the Archetype of the ‘Dark’, Suppressed or Rising Priestess / Spiritual Facilitator – what we see is an energetic dynamic that is in need of resolution. We may feel an urgency, a sense of intensity, to define our spiritual roles in more practical, grounded terms. Some of us may be drawn more to the wisdom of the Crones at this time. Black Moon Lilith here is challenged to choose a form of Service irrespective of the way it may be projected upon by others.
Those with placements between 7-11 Aries will experience this as a powerful Yod (Finger of Fate/Karma) which culminates with a key decision made at the Black Moon Lilith point. Normally, the range would be a little wider – however, one tends to take tighter orbs for Black Moon Lilith and the Moon’s Nodes. That’s why we don’t see the yod formed – strictly speaking – despite Uranus’ position at 13 Aries or the South Node at 12 Aries.
The exact Moon/Vesta conjunction takes place at 10 Aquarius’ 23 at 12:51 am, Feb 18th, GMT + 8 (in about 30 minutes’ time).
Blessings to All,
Image: Palanchok Bhagawati-Ma in Nepal. Photo by Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2014.
Text and Image © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2014-2015