Path of the Priestess

VESTA’S CHALLENGE – THE TRIALS OF THE PRIESTESS & THE GRAND FIRE TRINE (w. Jupiter, Venus, Ixion, Nessus, Uranus, Mars and others)

Vesta's Challenge

Blessings to All! We have a Grand Fire Trine in the skies involving Jupiter-conjunct-Venus, Uranus and Pallas Athena-Moon, along with a Nodal T-Square involving Vesta-South Node, North Node and The Sun-Mars. Long story short, there’s a lot of expressive, assertive energy bursting into our world, bringing with it the need to surrender the Ego’s understanding of the Self, giving way to the true Form/Flame of Spirit. Those who embody or connect with the Archetype of the Priestess / Spiritual Facilitator will be especially challenged to find that which is authentic within their paths at this time – what with Ixion (The Tyrant), Nessus (The Abuser) and Hubris (Excessive Pride/Arrogance) in the mix. Hang onto your hats!

First, the Grand Fire Trine:

Jupiter (21 Leo) and Venus (21 Leo) focus upon our ability express our deepest vulnerabilities and our authentic selves. Jupiter expands upon and intensifies our need to express the path we believe is true, whilst Venus speaks to us of the embod(y)ment of Spirit into Matter, the energy of the Feminine (in her Assertive/Passive/Formless/Other Forms as well), and the tendency to ignore or distort the blind-spots of our own perception. Jupiter and Venus together can show us the way forwards towards a balanced place of detached perception, one that does not respond to the ego and its dictates. One that does not act out of a wound, but rather transcends it.

On the other hand, Jupiter and Venus can equally magnify the wounded-child-self – where one’s self-expression and methods of evaluating material objects and relationships strongly influenced by the experience of ‘wounding’ / ‘woundedness’. It is where a value system that has been distorted by a particular experience reinforces that view with the power of belief.

Jupiter and Venus are conjunct asteroid Isis (22 Leo) – She appears as a powerful Guide to those who reach out to her at this time. However, both Jupiter and Venus trine Ixion, the energy of the Tyrant. Be aware of the tendency to seek to impose your Truth unto others, and yours response to such impositions. Stay authentic, stay open, stay vulnerable and connected with the Fires of Spirit. Responding to such power play in kind, unless it truly cannot be avoided, is ill advised at this time.

Jupiter/Venus/Isis trine Uranus (20 Aries), The Great Awakener/Revealer who has been lighting the rod, or antennae that connects us with a Higher/Deeper sense of Consciousness. It’s a time where new energies and perspectives of the self are likely to break through into being. Watch your communication with friends and in online spaces/networks. Something is about to push through, triggering a profound learning opportunity for understanding what your true embodiment of Divine energy really looks like.

Pallas Athena Retrograde (15 Sagittarius) and the Moon in Sagittarius, together, provide an emotional impetus to act upon one’s belief systems. Many are likely to jump the gun, and feel the need to defend their points of view whilst, simultaneously attacking, the viewpoints of others. A calmer expression of this energy can come about when one is open to experiencing their emotions, and not merely reacting to them.

Looking at the skies – in all honesty, it’s a Kite rather than a Grand Fire Trine – completed by Mercury’s (17 Gemini) opposition to Pallas Athena-Moon. This only heightens the emphasis on communication, and its role in propelling this fiery, assertive, energy forward. Many are likely to be revisiting early childhood triggers that conditioned a person to see themselves in a a particular way. There’s likely to be strong reactions surrounding a person’s right to embody or walk on particular spiritual paths, and early experiences that denied them those freedoms.

In short – there’s the great potential to burn through the falsehoods that surround the self altogether, and there’s equally the potential to burn in them (and then to valorize it). How honest you are about which of the two processes you’re a part of depends entirely upon you.

It’s not a great day to seek out the wisdom of others as the Self is quite likely to rebel against any other source of Wisdom, no matter how sound it may be. (Probably why I had the message to bring the Vesta-Sessions to a close today).

Now, onto VESTA’S CHALLENGE:

We have a very powerful T-Square involving Vesta (7 Aries)-South Node (5 Aries), North Node (5 Libra) and The Sun (8 Cancer) -and-Mars (4 Cancer). T-Squares are intense, dynamic and ultimately creative sources of birthing new energy. They’re tense alignments that push through with new forms of consciousness, much in the same way a child is forced out of the birth canal.

Vesta conjunct the South Node deals with our Soul’s engagement with the archetype of the Priestess/Facilitator in Aries. That’s a very very individualized path, and so, it’s hard to generalize what that will look and feel like for everyone. What I have seen, however, is that the Vesta-in-Aries theme is one that focuses upon the embodiment of the Priestess Archetype.

Up to a certain point, the Path tends to need the explicit expression and declaration of ‘I AM SHE’ ; I AM HER SERVANT ; I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE DIVINE ; I AM PRIESTESS ; I AM GODDESS RISING’ and so on and so forth (Or Son, or Child, you know what I mean – and Priestess as an archetype is not, just to be clear, limited to a single gender).

At some point, from what I’ve observed in myself and others … that need to outwardly express the Self-as-Divine tends to go. Once you realize, with every fiber and cell in your body, exactly what you are … you no longer need to say it. It speaks the moment you enter a room. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say it, it just makes it a very different vibration of Priestess-ing/Facilitation when you truly do so, having realized just What You Are. A Expression of Source, of Divinity.

Some Priestesses will take this vibration and embody it as part of a public path, whereas others will do it in private. Some will use ceremonial robes and headdresses, and others will not. Some will bear the title, and others will eschew it. All choices are equally sacred.

But, conversely, and I know this is not a happy thing to discuss – as a fellow Priestess Sister wrote to me recently (and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me quoting her here), there is also the increasing tendency to ‘play dress-up’ and to label the self as Priestess/Goddess/etc. without embodying that vibration within. I know people dislike speaking about it, but that’s exactly why it needs to be discussed.

In the skies now, we have Vesta trined Hybris (7 Sagittarius), essentially a body that deals with the quality of Hubris (knowing it all, arrogance, excessive pride, and so on). It’s going to be a time where some Priestesses cast their hubris into the flames, and others conflate their path with it.

In other words – There’s a huge difference between the Ego declaring the Self to be Divine, and Spirit making that realization. A delicate point, but clearly demarcated in the skies. One who has walked the path long enough (in this lifetime, or across various lifetimes) will instantly be able to perceive the difference – again – something which the current discourse on Spirituality and Priestessing finds hard to accept. Issues with being judged, or evaluated come to the fore, with the unspoken resentment of How Dare You Judge Me?

Every Priestess, Every Facilitator that has been around long enough has made ass of themselves by believing themselves to have ‘arrived’ and rejecting an authority figure/mentor/teacher/guide/friend who presents an alternative – Myself included. It’s a part of the learning curve … and nothing to feel ashamed, resentful or defensive about. Vesta trined Hybris, however, presents that as a challenge to all awakening Priestesses / Facilitators.

Coming back to the larger astrological alignment at play:

Vesta conjunct the South Node in Aries challenges us to place the parts of the Ego that require ourselves to declare our identities as Priestesses – embodying that vibration instead, only when guided by Spirit. The North Node, asks us to take the Ego and its Wounds surrounding the archetype of the Facilitator and to transform them into a more detached, balanced understanding of what it means to be the Spiritual Bridge.

The Sun/Mars in Cancer square the Nodes/Vesta, forming the apex of the T-Square. Emotions are likely to run high and to head for overkill – so try to step away from any such situation and find a place of balance once more.

Also bear in mind that Mars is trined Nessus (3 Pisces) in the skies. Nessus reflects one of the deepest wounds that we bear, disconnecting us from the erotic, passionate, sparkling-with-life-quality love affair that we can have with the Universe. It’s a vulnerable day in which we explore the wounds of projection, passive-aggression, narcissism, and the lack of boundaries – related to past-life dynamics, our relationship with the Masculine, the Mother, our relationship with Mystery or the most formless aspects of the Spirit, with the Mystic within, and so on and so forth. Quite a gambit of archetypes triggered by that one alignment.

Taking these aspects together, the skies brim with assertive, powerful energies of self-expression, at multiple levels. What is important to remember is that what we feel, may not always reflect our deepest sense of self. What we believe may shift, What we perceive may be a distorted reflection of that which is seen.

In short, it is a day where many will rise and roar – but the real question is – what are they roaring for? The Ego? The Spirit? The Heart?

Are you ready to burn away the Ego that seeks to appropriate the I-AM-Rising/Embodying energy for its own ends?

Are you ready to cast the Priestess Archetype into the Flames of Spirit? What will then emerge?

As for me – I’m considering letting go of the Priestess Title. I’m moving into a new space and I’m not sure what to even call it. Am having my Vesta Return, we’ll see what She says …  I suspect many answers – to many questions – will come through when Vesta returns to 7 Aries on September 22/23, 2015 and again on January 4/5, 2016.

Blessings to All,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

bairaveebalasubramaniam.com ; fb.com/theskypriestess ; @theskypriestess (on Twitter)

Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

Images: Astrolog screenshot + Priestess of Delphi by John Collier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Text & Astrology Info © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved.

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! 🙂

ASTRO-ALERT! Moon Conjuncts Vesta, inconjuncts Black Moon Lilith – Choosing and Manifesting a Path of Service, Facilitation and Embodiment of Divine Feminine energy.

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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,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Image: Palanchok Bhagawati-Ma in Nepal. Photo by Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2014.
Text and Image © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2014-2015

THE PATH OF THE PRIESTESS: PEACE? WAR? HEALING? TRANSMUTATION? LOVE? ALCHEMY?

thanjavur bairavee

As Priestesses – what is it that we do? Do we hold someone’s hand and listen to them pour their hearts out? Do we just ‘talk straight’, and tell someone what they really need to hear? Do we heal? Do we inspire? Do we defend? Do we terrify? Do we help out behind the scenes or jump straight into the heart of things?

Yes…  Yes… and Yes ….

And a lot more besides …

Being a Priestess does not require a religion, or even any understanding of faith (as paradoxical as that sounds). Some Priestesses use a Title, and some others do not even recognize the construct – doesn’t stop them from being one though 😉 And both approaches are just as valid.

And just to be clear – whilst I tend to address my posts to all genders, this one has a strong emphasis on the Feminine. The Priest’s Path of Service tends to be slightly different – but those who have a balanced sense of Masculine/Feminine will be able to relate to this piece as well.

What I have seen across the board is this: Priestesses live day-to-day with eyes in this world and in plenty others simultaneously. They see the movement of Spirit, Divinity, Grace, Life through all that occurs and honor, amplify or simply recognize that movement through some form of Service. As a Priestess upholds, embodies and anchors that vibration of Living-in-Communion, she naturally becomes a beacon that others are drawn to – a Gateway, if you will – to Healing and Re-connection.

Sometimes it’s a pleasant process, and at other times, it can be extremely uncomfortable. Some Priestesses are gentler, others are harsher. Some see joy and life in the world, and others see the rot and are focused upon its healing. Sometimes both, and a lot more besides. There’s just no generalizing it.

You can find a Priestess in a hospital, in a church, in a pagan community, in a social care center, in parliament, in a corporation, in a mirror – anywhere where there is a Woman able to see this Movement/Vibration and Align herself with it.

But more than any of that – there’s the Devotion, or Dedication to a particular Cause, Vibration or Idea. In ancient times, many of us chose death over the forsaking of our beliefs; We chose our cause of devotion over much-desired love and comfort; We chose to walk the route that no one else dared or wanted to even approach (as so many awakening priestesses are beginning to remember).

Some of us continue to make those same choices. And in some parts of the world, it really is a matter of life-and-death. For most of us, the repercussions are nowhere near as dire. But that does not make our choices any less significant.

We see it when we are called to speak our Truth to friends, family, colleagues, lovers, and so on. We see it in our thoughts, emotions, ideas and very substance, or essence of Being.

A constantly running red thread … that keeps pulsing, as real as your heartbeat. The sound of an invisible drum, a rhythm your Soul keeps dancing to. Each footstep, each time you follow that thread – a Choice is Made.

At times these choices seems like Trials – Trials of Fire and Spirit that just keep you going forward, come what may. Some with more intensity, others less so (and both is fine).

The choices that come in our lives, which call us to always, always look at things from a Transcendent Perspective. We’re always called to take the ‘higher/deeper’ road – and nothing exists in half-measures.

There is this constant intensity – be if of joy, trials, sorrow, anger – or any other emotional state (sometimes all) as Priestesses begin to remember and embody their Sacred Archetypes.

It’s not all grim, but it’s not all cupcakes and roses either. There is a beauty to this path, but also a great striving that accompanies it – especially in the earlier phases of awakening.

In my case, I was recognized as a Priestess (without the title ever being used) by a spiritually attuned mother and a father who recognized me as his teacher (and I him) from infancy. Even so, Living the Path, has not been a walk in the park (and that too, is a part of my Service).

In my earlier years, given my name (Bhairavi – Destroyer of Obstacles, The Most Terrifying Aspect of Maha-Kali) and cultural background (where Goddesses are shown sticking tridents into and impaling ‘demons’) – the biggest lesson I had to learn was in the Mode, or Type of Service I was called to give. The ‘battle metaphor’ had to dissolve (which took some work, and the help of friends), till I was better able to see the full spectrum of things.

So here’s some of what I’ve learnt:

(1) Leaping into battle doesn’t always work. But neither does dropping all your defenses and walking in as the pacifist.

(2) Mediation, Healing and Transmutation isn’t always the best course of action (at least, not at first). Sometimes Defending, Protecting and Making a Boundary is.

(3) Holding your ground is right sometimes, but so is complete Surrender.

(4) Not backing down is just as valid as turning your back and walking away

(5) Not all crises are yours to solve, not all problems you encounter are a part of the work that you came to do.

(Sometimes we feel indispensable, and that too is a part of the ego learning that this Priestessing business is not something you can put in a box 😀 )

(6) There is no ‘one formula’ or ‘mode’ that can be used for every situation – nothing is generalizable

(7) The moment you think you ‘know’ something, the Universe shows up with a whole new thing for you to learn. It’s endless, and that’s a beautiful thing in itself.

I’d like to think that I integrate a wider repertoire of these responses in the current way I walk my path, and that I will continue to learn more as time progresses. My trident (claws/ferocity) is there in the background should I ever truly require it, but a more peaceful approach tends to solve most issues.

But one thing I have learnt through all of this is the following:

That there is no ‘default’ response for what a Priestess does, when she is Called to Serve. We are all different, and our Paths and Purposes are different – as are the wide range of situations we encounter in our individual lives.

So there is no need to generalize, to compare one’s path with another, or to try and create a ‘standard formula for Priestessing’.

Here’s what I wrote to a friend earlier today, on the same subject – and with these words I leave you to your thoughts:

At times we will be called into battle to seek the peace through mediation. And at other times, we will be called to fortify the defenses against assault. Sometimes it’s making sure the crops grow and people are safe. It’s very very relative.

 At times we burn, at times we heal, at times we stand our ground, or build bridges – and at times, we make sure we turn and never look back. All are necessary, all are equal, and all are …. specific to the circumstance.
* * *
Blessings to All,
Image Information: Me at Thanjavur Periya Kovil, 2010. (c) Bairavee Balasubramaniam