The Virgin Goddess. The Virgin Sacrifice. The Vestal Virgin.

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We see these archetypes embedded within cultural folklore and deeply rooted, residual belief systems that human societies unconsciously drift towards, irrespective of how technological or ‘rational’ a civilization becomes.

In India, it is the wrath of a murdered virgin, her unappeased spirit that strikes the fear into local villagers. She is transformed into a grama devathai, deified as a local protectoress for her to ‘find rest’. She becomes the most powerful form of Virgin Goddess, who appears without the Womb (Karumaariamman).

In ancient Greece and Rome, is the the Vestal who successfully mounts an alternative to patriarchal systems of social organization and proprietorship. A collective of women who existed beyond the prescription of man, and in full cognizance of their sexual, ritual, devotional and spiritual dimensions.

In too many civilizational clichés to count, it is the sacrifice of the virgin, be it to the angry volcano or the raging mega-beast, that ultimately spares the lives of its citizens – for the virgin is seen to be the purest form of being, and at the same time, somehow expendable.

There are far too many cross-cutting, interweaving archetypes and stereotypes that run through these narratives to cover in a single article. But what is clear is that the Virgin is somehow associated with a superior sense of spiritual power or worth, in the eyes of those that seek to understand or appropriate her.

From whence does this power stem?

The Womb.

We look to narratives of parthenogenesis in mythology and religion to see it as a vessel through which the Virgin incubates, and births some form of life. It is the chamber in which, with or without the sexual act, Spirit enters the Flesh and Ideas attain their Physical Form.

It is the crucible in which alchemy of the most powerful sort occurs.

And so it is the most feared by a system of social organization that cannot seek to emulate it – Patriarchy.

What was once a sacred understanding of the gift of the Womb became a systemic attempt to control its workings, its engagements with the wider world and its ritual and spiritual significance. An all-out re-signification of the womb and its corpus of biological processes ensued.

Menstruation became taboo. The Sacred Blood that preceded the conception of life became Unclean. The period in which a woman could most acutely and sensitively listen to Her Spirit became a societal joke.

Female sexuality became undesirable, an invitation to to immorality and a general loss of reputation. The independence, self-sufficiency and sexuality of the Virgin was entirely supplanted with an ideology that equated virginity with celibacy, dependency and innocence.

We began elevating pregnancy and motherhood as the ideal state for a woman to attain, limiting her social and biological function to child-rearing. There are simply no ideals as such, for a woman is a woman is a woman. She need not have given birth, or even have been born into a female body in this day and age to be one.

The women’s mysteries themselves were lost for millenia.

Now, with the resurgence of Goddess-centered spirituality we see far more opportunities for men and women to once more cherish the life-giving, idea-birthing, creative and spiritual manifestation vessel that is the womb.

We begin to realize that, for beings that are not born as female or who do not identify as such, there is in fact, an energetic Womb Center through which we can access our own pathways to creative manifestation.

We begin to realize dimensions of humanity lost through the ages as the everyday, human woman was somehow too common, too impure to understand the magic in her own womb, as opposed to her Goddess counterparts.

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD ~Priestess, Astrologer, Doctor of Political Science and Public Speaker

www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Post & Image © Bairavee Balasubramaniam. All rights reserved.
Image: Samayapuram Mariamman, 2015.

GRAND CARDINAL CROSS w. VESTA, MERCURY, PLUTO & THE MOON, 7-8 September 2015

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Vesta Retrograde (10 Aries), Mercury (11 Libra), Pluto Retrograde (13 Capricorn) and The Moon ‘s transit through Cancer (4-18 degrees) square-off in an intense Grand Cardinal Cross alignment. GCC-s are fairly intense alignments, ones which often precipitate the destruction of something old and/or the birth of something new.

It feels like a ‘push’ in may ways – you can think of it as the way an artist pushes themselves to the brink, working day and night – the mother breathing deeply as she brings new life into the world – the straw that breaks the camel’s back as a tiny comment or nudge makes a person absolutely explode in rage and frustration. In a balanced form, it’s the kind of push that turns into a healthy drive to create something new, powerful and stable with ingredients that otherwise appear to be in continual, chaotic, conflict.

This particular alignment involves Cardinal energies, meaning that it calls for decisive, significant changes in key aspects of our lives.

The Moon in Cancer brings to a crescendo our emotions, intuitive drives and subconscious associations concerning the Mother, home, family, domestic sphere – and whatever forms of collective identities from which our individual identities emerge (e.g. traditional beliefs, ethnic identities, etc.).

Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn opposes the Cancer Moon, bringing its intense, heavy, transformative energies to bring about change in how we understand ideas of ‘success’, ‘legacy’, ‘power’, ‘authority’ and ‘control’. This might manifest as some kind of work/home imbalance. Bear in mind that the Sun (14 Virgo) is trined Pluto Retrograde, so much of our thoughts surrounding Pluto’s concerns also feed into our desire to be of Service whilst providing a material, practical basis for sustaining our everyday needs.

Mercury in Libra, preparing for its Retrograde, begins to slow down as we consider matters pertaining to wholeness, balance and partnerships. The energy of the Messenger asks us to consider the ways in which we relate with/to other people and other, less acknowledged, parts of ourselves. Watch the ways you think about or communicate on issues surrounding justice, fairness, relationship matters and the like.

Vesta Retrograde in Aries opposes Mercury-in-Libra, bringing the wisdom of the Priestess of Flame to the table. She asks us what notions of Self, Identity, and Ego-Mind we believe truly represent us, and then to cast them in the sacrificial fire. We are asked to surrender, and suspend judgement, about what we believe we are and to allow Spirit to complete its alchemical process. This may be triggered by perceived imbalances in the Libran (partnership) side of things, be it at home, or work. Remember that Vesta yearns to serve – but be sure that it’s Spirit that you’re working with, rather than the Ego of the Self 😉

You’ll be feeling the effects of the Grand Cardinal Cross till late on the 7th (US time zones) or the first half of the 8th of September 2015.

The Moon then goes onto trine Chiron Retrograde (19 Pisces) and square Uranus Retrograde (20 Aries). So, even when the GCC alignment is completed, we’ll still be working through a fairly vulnerable type of energy, one which ultimately asks us to burn through illusions and re-kindle a more authentic Fire within the Self.

In short – Its a time for greater sensitivity – on all fronts. You might just discover a new direction, a new path to walk on, a new way to see yourself and others through the process 😉

Love to All,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

The Sky Priestess

PS – Spirituality, in whatever its form, ultimately aims to bring a deeper and more sustained vibration of Love on this planet. Whilst some of that comes about through internal realization, rituals and prayer-work, there is still an equal part of it that transpires through the material, physical, hands-on-in-the-soil way. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask all of you to strongly consider donating to, or in some other way physically, tangibly supporting the relief efforts taking place in Europe & the Middle East. We’re witnessing one of the largest humanitarian crises seen in recent years, with families and little children drowning in the sea, with no place to go. Here’s two links with many, many ways that you can make a physical contribution to the relief efforts –

http://www.theguardian.com/…/syria-crisis-how-you-can-help-… ; http://www.thejournal.ie/what-can-you-do-migrants-2309710-…/

I donated directly to the UNHCR at rfg.ee/RN3uy – feel free choose whichever method/organization/type of contribution is resonant with you . There are even options to buy basic necessities for the refugees through Amazon.

So – thank you for reading this message – 🙂

PPS – This is the 300th post on www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com, which has now passed the 200,000 view mark since its founding in June 2014 – much love to all of you who have resonated with my work and saw fit to share it so extensively within your own networks. Much Love! ❤ ❤ ❤

What does it take to Dance with your Shadow?

Belly_dancer_playing_with_a_veil_at_the_2012_Las_Vegas_Age_of_Chivalry_(8104140497) - Copy
What does it take to Dance with your Shadow?
 
Surrender. Acceptance. Acknowledgement. Experience. Vulnerability. Release. Surrender. Acceptance. Acknowledgement. Experience. Vulnerability. Release. Surrender. Acceptance. Acknowledgement. Experience. Vulnerability. Release.
 
and so on.
 
It’s a tender process, one that requires you to dredge up your deeply rooted fears, vulnerabilities, anxieties and sources of Shame. It asks you to face up to your fears and to speak them out loud. It asks you to recognize your fear of consequences and act anyway.
 
It asks you to take a leap of faith in the pitch black of night
 
Not knowing if you’ll fly, fall, break, burn, be reborn ..
 
All of the above, more, or nothing at all.
 
~ bairavee balasubramaniam ~
Image:  Belly dancer playing with a veil at the 2012 Las Vegas Age of Chivalry (8104140497).jpg By Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons — digitally altered for this post

THE DARK GODDESS DANCES AT THE HEART OF THE COSMOS! Black Moon Lilith conjuncts the Super Galactic Center & The True North Node (1 Libra)

Kaliposter1940s

It’s here! It’s today! We see Black Moon Lilith conjunct the Super-Galactic Center and the North Node at 1 Libra. Black Moon Lilith (the Mean Apogee) represents the Shadow or Darker aspects of the Feminine, associated with figures like MahaKali, the Morrighan, Goddess Hecate and so on.

The Super-Galactic Center (SGC) represents, in astrology, the closest point to Source. It is a supermassive black hole in the M 87 Galaxy, residing at the heart of the Laniakaea Supercluster, of which The Milky Way is a part of.

The exact alignment between SGC and Black Moon Lilith  occurred at 13:11 UTC today (September 4, 2015) at 1 Libra 8′ ”50. The True North Node is close by at 1 Libra 8′ ”53, which Black Moon Lilith conjuncts at 13:22 UTC, some 11 minutes later.

Placements close to the SGC feel unusually intense as we are attracted or drawn towards the fulfillment of powerful contracts with Spirit/Source. These will be focused upon the ways that we connect to or relate with other people, be it through personal, professional or even intra-personal relationships within Self.

The True North Node, making its (nearly twenty-year) bi-decade conjunction with the SGC also intensifies this need to reconnect with Source and to seek balance within and without. Watch the way you relate to others now as they represent a new direction of spiritual growth for you. It’ll be challenging as we are called to develop greater detachment, acceptance and tolerance of the ‘Other’.

This may be a time in which the Fires of Self that so many of us have been stepping into as an act of reclaiming the Self, now consumes that very sense of Ego-Identity. It is here that what we thought we once were turns to ash and is consumed by a much larger need to re-connect with one’s sense of the Divine.

So what does the Dark Goddess have to do with all of this? What challenge does Black Moon Lilith bring to this already epic, intense energetic backdrop?

Black Moon Lilith represents the aspects of the Shadow Feminine that have been suppressed, unacknowledged, or relegated to some distorted conception of ‘The Other’ for thousands of years.

As so many have begun to reclaim the Shadow, many are now – at this time – focused upon that immediate sense of rage that comes with a recognition of the extent of this suppression and its energetic consequences for generations forth.

So many have associated the Shadow Feminine with that need to rage, to whip out the machete and strike off the head of the patriarchal villain. So many have associated MahaKali in particular with the need and right to rage and rebel against this unjust silencing of the Feminine.

But that too, is a part of a necessary process of cleansing and purging – a much needed release of pent-up energy before it can then be modulated in a more stable form.

In some sense, the recognition of one’s anger at the Silencing of the Feminine is but the first stage of working with the Dark Goddess. And unfortunately, that is where so much of the popular conception of Her energies ends.

…..Just as we begin the deeper Journey with Her.

Collectively, with Saturn’s final days in Scorpio, we are – all together – turning the corner in the way we Dance with the Dark Feminine. We are moving past a personal rejection or reaction towards injustice and in so doing we are allowing our hearts to Open.

We stop viewing the Justice of Ma-Kali, the Morrighan, the Dark Goddess, exclusively in terms of which heads need to roll, or through the need to ROAR in one’s power.

Multiple responses, multiple possibilities, multiple ways of responding to the individuals, relationships and connections we make in our lives then emerge. We begin to explore alternate meanings to the phrase of ‘standing in one’s own power’.

This process begins as we experience, acknowledge and embody the energy and lessons of the lower three chakras, then freeing ourselves to move towards a Heart-based (4th chakra) level of consciousness.

As Hearts Open, therein we find the Pathway, or Bridge towards Wholeness, Re-Connection and Balance (Libra).

It is this opening that the current Black Moon Lilith-True North Node – SGC alignment pushes us towards. And then ……

………..

What comes next is between You and Her 🙂

Blessings to All,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

The Sky Priestess

Image: Kaliposter1940s – With a flaming background that evokes the end of the world (bazaar art, c.1940’s) – Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (digitally enhanced for this article)

AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING – TURNS ON THE WHEEL OF KARMA, THE PISCES FULL MOON (6 PISCES ‘6), 29TH AUGUST 2015, 18:35 UTC

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Blessings to All. The Pisces Full Moon brings us the culmination of intentions set during two powerful Pisces New Moons: February 18, 2015 with the Aquarius-Pisces-Hybrid Supermoon) and March 19, 2015 (Eclipse, Supermoon, Equinox at 29 Pisces). Both of these New Moons carried with them powerful opportunities to break out of karmic cycles from lifetimes past and to discover new ways of deepening one’s connection with Spirit.

By nature, Piscean energy brings us to other realms or states of being. This is the watery realm in which all forms, definitions, boundaries and labels cease to exist. It represents, in its purest form, the energy of Unconditional Love and Absolute Compassion, associated with more mystical and transcendental spiritual experiences.

Piscean energy has the capacity to unconditionally sacrifice itself for the betterment of another, without expectation of reward, recognition, status – or even of reciprocation. It can give, and give, and give, drawing from the Infinite, without paucity – and without seeking anything in turn. We venerate those who absolutely operate at this level of spiritual vibration and unconditional love as saints, Messiahs, Ascended Beings and so on.

I associate Pisces energy with Compassionate Masculine figures such as Lord Shiva from the Hindu tradition and Lord Christ from the Christian tradition (unsurprising as my Mars and Jupiter are both in Pisces). In both instances, the act of physical sacrifice or unconditional surrender is woven into the mythology, or narratives that establish key aspects of their Divinity. Depending on your own inclinations and natal chart, you might identify the same energy in other spiritual figures or archetypes.

Whilst the compassionate waters of Pisces encourage the flow beautiful, tender and vulnerable expressions of love, spirituality, altruism and unconditional giving, they open the self to possibilities of projection, (self) deception, escapism and so on. Pisces is equally the energy of Maya, or Illusion, the veil that separates some idea of transcendental Reality from the immediate present. It may seem beautiful, but may be deceptively so.

The blurring of facts, boundaries, ideas and identities that Pisces is famous for can entrap a spiritual seeker into something that looks and feels great, but may be wholly unaligned with their spiritual needs and actual level of awareness or realization. Ever met someone claiming to be an Ascended Being, only to see their ego blow up all over the place when you don’t fall at their feet in awe and worship? Well, then you know what I mean.

At times these illusions are harmless, but at other times, they can cause harm – to one’s self or to others who believe a person’s claim to spiritual gifts, expertise or alleged sainthood.

At the everyday level, Piscean energy can be used to project self-serving acts as the epitome of martyrdom and selflessness. You see this a lot with care-taking behavior that becomes resentful when unacknowledged, “Look at how much I do and sacrifice for you and see how little you appreciate me?” Those with codependent traits are likely to see this line of questioning (or the energy behind it) emphasized during this Full Moon.

A further danger of Pisces lies in its ability to escape. When in balanced form, spiritualists can work with Piscean energy to experience otherworldly realms and states of being, beyond the veil of Maya as it were. When unbalanced, Pisces seeks to escape through a variety of mechanisms – projection, dissolving one’s identity in another person, obsession, substance abuse – and in extreme cases, even suicide. Those who seek ‘ways out’ may be unable to face the vulnerability that Piscean energy almost inevitably asks us to fully experience and immerse ourselves in completely.

This is not something to be ashamed of – it just means that you might need to find support groups, friends, or organizations that can help you through a rough time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people or institutions that you think might help, but don’t take it personally if they’re not available for you. It’s an intense energetic time for everyone, and we’ve all got our karmic baggage to sort out. Some of you might find solace in a mental health retreat or simply a support group of some kind (AA, Al-Anon, etc.).


A further dimension of Piscean energy deals with the karmic heritage of the individual soul. Pisces Full Moons are ones which quite literally have the capacity to dissolve karmic contracts, or to clear the karmic slate as it were. This is especially true of this Full Moon as its seeds were also set during the March 2015 New Moon at 29 Pisces  – the Anaretic or Terminal degree of the Sign, and the Zodiac as a whole. We quite literally set the seeds to move past a whole cycle of energetic lessons, a turn in the wheel as it were – and are now witnessing that process of release unfolding.

Now is a time of great energetic release in which a person can realize just what attachments they may be holding onto out of fear, or other egoic needs. It can be a scary process, especially for those at the verge of a critical breakthrough/breakdown and can involve the experience of profound vulnerability, along with the humility of absolute surrender to the Divine. 

Now is a moment that calls for absolute surrender – not to the will of another being – but to whatever it is that you have Faith in. It is an energy that asks you to trust in whatever outcome that emerges without seeking to control or contain it in any form. As a general rule, Pisces can create Miracles, that is, it can manifest just about anything it needs to when powered by Faith, rather than expectation.

In a direct, everyday sense, try to avoid major conflicts and simply process what you need to in solitude. You might find tears as a potent form of release or even simply feel the need to sleep longer. Grounding out under a tree or in a natural setting can be calming at this time. If you need support, go to organizations or people who can help hold a space for you (ritually or even in a practical sense, or both) as you process. Avoid excesses of anything, especially if you’re trying to distract yourself from deeper realizations. As the Pisces Full Moon opposes the Sun in Virgo, chances are that you will be called to draw a line, or find a certain boundary that actually (somewhat paradoxically) lets you open up to the Divine in a more direct way than before. Watch the experiences that come your way and act accordingly – Pisces is notorious for blurring the waters, so whatever comes up may appear in a distorted form.

Try not to jump to conclusions and allow your intuition to guide you – it’s the time to trust it.

And -as a general rule – this Full Moon is bound to be a fairly tender time for most people – that includes YOU. Remember to practice compassion, and be gentle with yourselves and other people. Allow people to be what they are, and you just be what you are. Avoid control dramas and conflicts unless you feel that standing your ground is absolutely what you need to do.

For those of you feeling up to it, try to do something which inspires you, that makes you re-member that you are a Channel of Divine Will – be it through art, dance, or whatever activity that makes you feel ‘in tune’. Others may consider helping out at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or in other contexts where the simple act of giving is done without expectation, question or negotiation. If you can, hold space for someone who is charting their spiritual journey through the rougher tides of Piscean energy – but not if you’re trying to avoid the same work/journey within yourself. Remember that the the idea is to help out another, and not to take on their baggage!  It’s also a fantastic time for pilgrimages to sacred sites and for spiritual ceremonies conducted by grounded, experienced facilitator.

For those looking for a more specific guide to coping with this Pisces Supermoon, I refer you to a 12-house coping strategy (by the Ascendant/Rising Sign) I wrote for the same alignment last year: http://atomic-temporary-71240100.wpcomstaging.com/2014/09/07/coping-with-the-supermoon-in-pisces-938-am-9-sep-gmt-8-at-16-pis-19-a-12-house-guide-complete/

Other Alignments:

The New Moon of February 2015 was conjunct Nessus (0 Pisces), commonly referred to as the ‘abuser’s asteroid’. We are all going to be, at some level, processing deep karmic experiences and memories which may have _appeared to_ disconnect us with Spirit. We are never truly disconnected, however, experiences that are particularly traumatic can create the illusion of disconnection. Healing the Nessus wound requires us to recognize the illusion for what it is and to acknowledge, once more, our indivisibility with/from Spirit. We are always surrounded by with the Love of Divine, even when we believe all has been forsaken or lost. Here is where the test of Faith comes, and with it, the capacity to manifest Miracles with Piscean energy.

For most people, Nessus triggers the sensation of having one’s personal, intimate, psychic and/or sexual boundaries violated. These wounds may not have been sustained in this lifetime, or even acted out by people you’ve met this time around, but can easily refer to events that transpired many, many, SuperMoons past. Do not feel the need to locate what you feel at a physical level and accept (if you can) the idea that your Soul has experienced a lot more than what your Conscious Self is aware of. This can avoid a lot of unnecessary pain, stigma and fear in interpersonal relationships.

Neptune Retrograde (8 Pisces) will be close to the Moon, whilst Jupiter (3 Virgo) will be close to the Sun. Neptune’s influence will only intensify the experience of the Piscean Moon (as Neptune rules Pisces), whereas Jupiter will amplify the Sun’s focus in Virgo – an energy that seeks to delineate, find form, structure and function of material vessels designed for a path of Earthly Service. There’s going to be a somewhat of a tug-of-war going on between the two – with Neptune as the Teacher of Formlessness, and Jupiter as the Guru that shows you the road ahead.

Chances are that we’re all going to be called to find a more grounded, earthly, practical way in which we can manifest, or carry forward the lessons that we experience at the more emotional and intuitive level during this Full Moon. The tension between Virgo and Pisces will be highlighted – as we discover the balance between setting a boundary and opening the self to the Divine. Both are equally important in the Road Ahead, especially with Jupiter’s year-long lessons in Virgo and the North Node’s upcoming shift into Virgo in October 2015.

To quote a conversation I was a part of last night: it is the archetype of the Guru vis-a-vis the Saint. One Knows, and another Experiences. Both are equally valid.

Also bear in mind that the Mercury, Black Moon Lilith, Super-Galactic-Center and North Node conjunction in Libra sextiles Saturn in Scorpio – and that Venus Retrograde prepares to meet Mars in Leo within 2 days’ time. There’s a tremendous focus upon our relationships, the ways in which we relate with others and the parts of ourselves which we do not acknowledge or simply tend to disown (the Shadow Self). The decisions that we make now will, due to Saturn’s & the Super Galactic Center’s influence, form a significant part of the energetic blueprint we carry for a long time henceforth.

In short, it’s a quite a significant Full Moon and one that I hope will bring us all to a greater awareness of just what it means to Be and Love ourselves and others as The-Divine-in-Human-Form.

Much Love,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

The Sky Priestess

Image: ‘Nessus’, kindly gifted by Theresa Luttenegger. You can find more of her work at www.poemofatoms.com

DISSOLVING IDEALS, EXPECTATIONS AND THE NEED TO BE A GODDESS TO ATTRACT A GOD – REALIZATIONS FROM THE LEO NEW MOON, 2015

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I have been thinking about romantic ideals and how we apply them to real people. In my own relationship, I am at a point of discarding whatever I thought I idealized, because those mental constructs just don’t feel … real .. anymore.

We’ve become so accustomed to a language that talks about what we are entitled to on the basis of our spiritual growth – couched in the language of the law of attraction, most often. Put a vibration out there and you’ll get the same/complement/mirror of it. That became a call for ‘ You be a Goddess, and you’ll attract a God’ or vice versa.

I think that the vibration of the words we use and the way we use them needs to change. To ‘respect’, to ‘deserve’, ‘honor’, to be entitled to – in the past, especially with my background in legislative research – that seemed okay. Now it just seems like the terms of a contract for goods and services bartered. And indeed, relationships – especially the ones that transform you in the deepest ways possible – are forms of energy exchange.

Now I understand where that came from – it grew out of a growing awareness of how women (in particular) are socially conditioned to behave as though they are co-dependent. They’re taught they can’t live without man, or that they can’t be their best so that they keep their men, etc. etc. And if you’re in this place, then this rhetoric is probably going to be one of those tools that you use to help you move into a different space, with respect to how you relate with others.

But at some point, to me at least, it has become a crutch in my spiritual growth and evolution, and capacity to love.

So what’s the alternative?

First – and this is going to sound weird given how strongly I believe in the Goddess and write about Her most of the time in some way or another, but it’s what feels true for me now, so here goes –

I feel we need to get past this need to see ourselves in term of ideal-types – be it King, Queen, God, Goddess, Multi-dimensional Light Being, etc. Why not just stick with Person, or Being?

Those of you who follow my work, you’ve probably noticed that I never refer to people as Goddesses or Queens – Priestess, yes. But even that was a label that I ultimately ended up moving away from as part of my name.

It’s not because people don’t embody X, Y, Z energy, but because I’d rather see them (and myself) as .. well .. Substance, Energy, Vibration, Spirit call it what you like. I behave differently to someone who calls themselves a Queen or High Priestess, I behaved differently when I had the title of Priestess as part of my name. Why?

Because Labels have power. And I see them, more and more, as tools which ultimately become crutches. The kinds that hold us down and prevent us from seeing ourselves as – Whatever the Heck We Are – .

And just as I apply that to myself more and more now – it’s also entering my relationships. Let’s try the following thought experiment – see how you respond to it (and it’s all cool, valid, fine whichever way you take it):

What if – I’m just a person.
And, what if I attract/am attracted by another person.
And maybe I’m not the best I could be in some areas, and maybe he isn’t either.
And maybe that’s enough.

Now I know that’s going to trigger a lot of people who’d say:

‘but oh, isn’t that settling for something less?
‘does that mean you’d accept an abusive/bad/unworthy/non-Male-God-on-Earth partner?’
‘don’t you know you’re a Goddess and you’re worth more, you deserve the best!’

I’ve been asked/have asked those questions on numerous occasions – but right now – they seem driven by fear.

What would you ask is the alternative – Faith?

Well yes.

But without conditions, without expectations and with complete acceptance.

That means no bargaining with the Universe. That means no telling the Gods/Law of Attraction – hey, I’m putting out awesomeness – bring me some of that! Or – I’m drawing in all that I need and magically manifesting goodness and abundance.

That means no rituals, no spells, no setting intentions of manifestation, no trying to deck the cards in your favour. No asking for something.

And that to me – my friends, is absolute surrender. That’s accepting ‘EVERYTHING’. Not just the cuddly stuff, not just the happy stuff.

It’s not about falling into a caretaker/codependent role, it’s not about putting up with domestic abuse, it’s not falling into or out of anything.

It’s calling for much more awareness of self, and my fully embodied presence than ever known or felt.

And really I can’t put it into words.

My brother was asking me (paraphrased) – well – do you still have a boundary by which you would define yourself essence, your self. What would you do if it was not honored?

I couldn’t answer the question.

Now for a woman who is used to the rights/entitlements/legalistic rhetoric, and has spent much of her life fighting what she believes she’s worth, never willing to accept a shred of anything that would question her integrity/dignity/power/ etc… it’s a strange space to be in.

But yesterday, Something Shifted.

A Threshold was Crossed. And I’m not turning back.

I haven’t lost any of that, but they don’t look like the old boundaries, the old weapons, the pedestals of self-righteous anger and defensiveness. Love doesn’t look like it should be a legal contract or a barely veiled threat to come and dance with the Goddess on the Battlefield if you fail to comply.

Something new is coming in.

When I can better put that into words, I’ll let you know.

Blessings,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Image: Chlosyne lacinia.jpg, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

RUMBLE OF THUNDER, SERPENTINE SLITHER: SUN (20 LEO) TRINES URANUS RETROGRADE (20 ARIES) , INCONJUNCTS CHIRON RETROGRADE (20 PISCES) IN PREPARATION FOR THE LEO NEW MOON – AUGUST 13/14 2015

spiral

Blessings to All. The celestial spotlight has been turned and focused upon matters of the heart, joy, passion, romance and the archetype of the Child. People have engaged with this energy today in a variety of ways: feeling great emotional intensity, powerful roaring release, a sense of compression, all at once – or something else entirely.

This is because we’re preparing for tomorrow’s very, very, powerful New Moon in Leo, one that involves the Sun and Moon conjunct Ashlesha – the Serpent Star. Serpent energy is by nature, neutral – meaning it can work either way for/with/against you. Serpent energy is one which deserves respect and requires deep compassion … invoking it in ritual or ceremonial ways will be exceptionally potent at this time, especially with the Sun-Uranus trine. But that brings with it a set of challenges which, ideally, one would have an experienced guide or mentor to help you through with.

Today we see the ‘preparation’ for that New Moon, and in all honesty, it looks like the celestial equivalent of lightning striking a forest, burning it to a crisp, just so it can grow once more. The seeds you set now will come to culmination about six months from now, with the Leo Full Moon in February 2016. This – to me – comes across through the Sun’s trine with Uranus and inconjunct with Chiron. Let’s talk about those.

Now, trines are aspects that amplify the energetic connection between two astrological bodies. Amplification is neither a positive, nor a negative thing – it simply means, there’s going to be a lot of whatever energy is coming through.

The Sun trined Uranus brings in a powerful amplification of Awareness/Focused Consciousness (Sun) and the Lightning Strike of Awakening/Expansion of Consciousness. So, in other words – Uranus is about to blow your mind wide, wide, open. In the signs of Leo-Aries, this trine focuses upon:

the things which make us feel good to be alive
what we’re passionate about
what we truly feel joyful about
what we love (be it our kids, lover/s, creative projects, etc.)
along with our most vital, embodied, immediate sense of Self.

Use this energy to fully embody and express whatever it is that your creativity leads you to. You may surprise yourself in what you’re able to bring through 🙂 Sexual and sensual activities will be heightened at this time as they highly activate your energy body.

All of this can be wonderful, empowering, uplifting and energizing, however, bear in mind that there is such a thing as ‘burning out’ or being ‘over-activated’. Think of the fuse that pops because it can’t handle an electrical surge – the same applies to the human energy body, as it draws in the electricity of Uranus.

Another note – especially for spiritual seekers – Uranus is linked with the activation of the kundalini and the world/vision/self-expanding awareness that it brings. Whilst it might seem like a ‘perfect fit’ for the way in which the skies are lit during this New Moon – instead of actively trying to ‘push through’ with kundalini awakening / other intense spiritual practices – it might be a better idea to figure out how to stay open, receptive and grounded to whatever comes through. (You have to make sure you can receive that energy first without damaging yourself in the process).

Kundalini awakening is a pretty serious, hard-core spiritual practice that can truly lead you to profound places in your journey, however equally debilitating effects may arise if the kundalini is improperly raised and/or not lowered. Bear in mind that kundalini energy refers, once again, to the Serpentine archetype – one that is already activated by Ashlesha’s role in this New Moon.

For more info on this topic, check out: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/the-basics-of-kundalini-awakening-our-serpentine-energy/ – I talk about the experience of kundalini and discuss some of the effects of premature awakening.

Those with placements between 13-27 Sagittarius (so, anything near the Great Attractor & The Galactic Center) will experience a GRAND FIRE TRINE, activated by Sun/Uranus.

In the skies, we do see the asteroid Ixion (The Tyrant, 21 Sagittarius) present. Certainly a time to note the ‘I KNOW AND YOU DON’T!’ kind of vibe in any kind of student-teacher/mentor/guide relationship, and to assert your Truth irrespective of who or what is going on a power trip on the basis of the knowledge they see themselves as having (to be a little blunt about it).

Teachers who have worked through the multiple dimensions of power – having it, using it wisely, letting it go, realizing you can’t ‘let it go’ or ‘have it’ because you are it – will also powerfully come forward with their views on their respective worldviews/paths. What you accept to be True, however, is entirely up to you.

In addition to these powerfully fiery influences, we also see the energy of Chiron at play during this New Moon as The Sun is inconjunct Chiron Retrograde at 20 Pisces.

Inconjuncts are fairly uncomfortable alignments as they seek to merge elements that are (traditionally speaking) not compatible with one another (Air/Fire with Earth/Water). It takes work to merge the energies present in compatible ways – in the same you have do something to oil and water to make them into an emulsion, else they remain separate.

The Sun’s focus in Leo is on matters of passion, joy, sensuality, love, etc. as has been discussed – whereas – Chiron Retrograde focuses upon the vulnerability of the Soul’s Wound and its process of healing. In Pisces, Chiron’s energy fixates upon cycles of karma, past-life connections, otherworldly experiences and the more mysterious aspects of Spirituality that are just so hard to put into words. Formless, Amorphous, Ever-Shifting.

We may find a sense of vulnerability, or a recognition of our woundedness in the more tender aspects of our inner Child Archetype, the centers for Joy and Connection (Heart and Sacral Chakras) through this alignment. We may also discover the karmic dynamics that have fueled such wounds – with the option to now release them back into the Aether.

You may be drawn to spiritual practices like transcendental meditation, art therapy, anything that gets you into that state of no-mind, fully opening to and flowing with the streams of intuition, emotion, psychic connection and spirituality of Pisces. These experiences can benefit from the intense focus that the Sun and Moon are capable of providing, as you seek to heal a particular karmic wound or imbalanced dynamic. Alternatively, they may simply be too overwhelming for some to handle – in which case, be extra gentle with yourselves and take baby steps 🙂


Now, when two inconjuncts get together, they form a Yod (Finger of Fate), in this case, completed by placements between 17-23 Libra and/or Capricorn. Those with these placements will be taken to a set of karmic crossroads where they are challenged to get through the wounding-vulnerability of Pisces and to re-discover the authentic, core of Joy within (Leo). Relationship (Libra) and Legacy/Career (Capricorn) related matters may act as a trigger for these Yods to come into play.

In short:

The skies bear a spicy, fiery, electric, serpentine energy, and one that needs to be treated with moderation, balance and respect. It’s a time where we process deep wounds of the soul and in so doing find ways to heal our most vulnerable selves. It’s a also a time where we are challenged to come forth with our truth, but in ways that Honor the Self, and All Else.

Blessings to All,

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

The Sky Priestess

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

GODDESS KALI – INFINITY AND NOTHINGNESS ALL AT ONCE!

Goddesses Kali..

The Dark Goddess… The Wild Woman… More and more of us are guided to these archetypes and energies, with each passing day. But what do they tell us about our Spiritual Paths in life? What do they actually mean in daily practice?

I’m going to do my best to answer this question through an exploration of Goddess Kali (arguably the most iconic Dark Mother/Primordial Wild Woman in this Age). We’ll be looking at the way She is described in scripture, how She is popularly represented and ways to embody Her energy in day-to-day life.

Goddess Kali is often shown with blood dripping from Her fangs, hair loose, mostly nude, standing with 8 arms (some which hold weapons, others which hold blessings) with one foot on Her consort (Lord Shiva’s) chest.

In certain Hindu traditions, She is kept outside of or at the margins of temples as Her energy is so fierce, raw and primordial. Similarly, keeping her statues or images in the home are frowned upon in some Hindu homes. Naming one’s daughters after Kali/Bhairavi (in that rawer form) is also taboo. (Thankfully my mum didn’t know what it meant in this sense when she named me!)

But now, with so much interest in Awakening the Power of the Divine Feminine, men and women are beginning to reclaim the ferocity of Kali-Ma, breaking through the taboos that surround Her.

Let’s face it. She’s a sight to behold! Badass, in fact.

Hence, the existence of a blonde-haired, blue skinned Kali-Barbie prototype, and celebrities like Heidi Klum dressing up as Kali for Halloween (not that I have a problem with the latter). And of course – the beautiful, powerful, iconic projection of Ma-Kali’s face unto the Empire State Building in New York!

In the heat of the hype surrounding this sexy, ferocious, primordial pre-Bhramanic deity from ancient India, I see many distortions and exclusions which render this Goddess a pale echo of Her true form, energy and significance.

‘I’ve got my Kali on’ … this picture fills me with ‘Kali energy’ …. I see Her invoked in daily conversation, and often exclusively to describe a state of ‘anger’ or ‘rage’, or even of intense dislike. Whilst rage is certainly one aspect of Her – it’s a very, very small slice of the picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my favourite Goddess is dancing Her Tandava (Cosmic Dance) on the World’s Stage to a steadily growing global audience – I’m glad that people are beginning to see Her in their daily lives – but there’s just so much more to Her than the stereotype of ‘the Avenging Feminine’.

Which brings me back to my initial question – what do these archetypes really mean? And how do we weave them into our daily lives?

When we look at the Devi Mahatyam (an early Hindu text), for instance, we see an array of Das Mahavidya (Ten Mahavidyas, or Wisdom Goddesses) and each make up the whole that is Kali.

We’ve got Kali Herself, Tara (the Compassionate), Chinnamasta (the Epitome of Ego-Death and Surrender), Dhumavati (the Widowed Crone), Bhagalamukhi (She who Hypnotizes, Mesmerizes and Smites), Bhuvaneswari (the Cosmos Herself), Bhairavi (The Terrifying One, Destroyer of all Obstacles), Kamala (She who grants Prosperity), Matangi (She who is ‘Polluted’, Goddess of the Forests) and TripuraSundari (The Maiden who rules the Three Worlds).

There’s a lot more to each goddess – but this is just to give you an idea of the complexity of Kali – and the total spectrum of Divine Femininity that She represents. The Just Protector, The Compassionate Mother, The Detached Crone, The Beautiful Maiden, The Devoted Wife (as Parvati), and more besides – all rolled up into one Super-duper Celestial package (or more accurately, a Vibration of a particular state of Consciousness).

In other words – All this is Kali. And She is All. Some traditions even equate Her energy interchangeably with Lord Krishna. She’s pretty much … Infinity and Nothingness in a Female Form.

In other words, looking at the Totality of what She represents, there’s very little which isn’t Maha-Kali!

But what does that mean for those of us who seek to embody her Wildness? Her Power? Her Love? Her Presence?

Personally, I see it as a call to begin witnessing Her energy through every moment of our lives…

When we hold our children and nurture our families,
When we fight for justice and walk away alone, bleeding but with our heads held up high,
When we learn the secrets of Life, the Universe, and Ourselves,
When we make love,
When we are love,
When we simply breathe,
When we simply be

… Every time you look in the mirror, there She is … watch out for that cheeky wink and knowing smile…

Bringing ‘Kali Consciousness’ into daily life does not require a ritual, a ceremony, a mantra, a holy book or instrument of prayer – all it requires is You!

Live from your Heart, learn that things come and go – as do people.

Love as fiercely as you can knowing that tomorrow may wash away the hopes of today. And love anyway.

Be unafraid to reveal that Which You Are, for you cannot be contained. Just as She cannot be.

And as you stand and step into your own Power, in acceptance of its Totality – of Light, Shadow, Rage, Compassion, Joy, Sorrow – therein lies a precious gift.
You.

Blessings to All as you embark on your Journey of Fierce Love, Non-Judgment and Transcendental Detachment …

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD :

Priestess, Astrologer, Motivational Speaker & Founder of The Dark Mother’s Children ; Honoring The Dark Mother: A Temple-Space

 

Note: I first wrote this article for my friend Morgan Potts and her Moonblush Blog in November 2014. It has been reprinted here with her permission.

Image: Goddesses – Kali Maa.jpg; By Chobist (Flickr: Goddesses – Kali Maa) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Text & Content © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2014. All rights reserved.

ENERGY UPDATE: 17th June 2015 (Neptune Rx in Pisces, Saturn Rx in Scorpio, New Moon + Mars in Gemini, Vesta conjunct South Node / opposing North Node

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3 major shifts / events recently: Neptune’s Retrograde in Pisces (June 11), Saturn’s regress into Scorpio (June 14) and the Gemini New Moon (June 16) – give or take a day depending on where you are on the planet. Neptune’s Retrograde gives us the ability to pierce through, or dissolve the veil of illusion that surrounds our relationship with transcendental Mystery. Saturn’s regress into Scorpio gives us the chance to revisit and re-shore up the foundations of our relationship with authenticity, power, alchemy and intimacy.

The Gemini New Moon (25 Gemini), between now and the next 2 days, gives us the opportunity to plant seeds which can ultimately transform our perceptions and re-pattern deeply entrenched forms of early childhood conditioning. It’s also a good time to reconnect with and replenish relationships with siblings and one’s early childhood environment/years/constructs. With Mars so close by (24 Gemini), we’ll also be revisiting the ways in which we understand our ability to assert ourselves, and the ways in which we co-construct perceptions of masculinity.

You will the reap the seeds sown now during the Gemini Full Moon, on 25/26 November 2015.

It’s a fairly intense time, with such big shifts happening, and many are experiencing it through sudden crises, illnesses, outbursts (though some will sail right through it).

What I’m also excited about is the upcoming North Node-Vesta opposition – Vesta-South Node conjunction (June 24 @ 5 Libra-Aries). That’s going to be BIG for Priestesses, Shaman/kas, and other Facilitators. The emphasis of work ‘down below’, i.e. in the psychic and spiritual Underworld is likely to be highlighted, as is clearing ancestral lines. The Priest/ess is then called to stand in the fires of ‘I AM Consciousness’, no longer needing to approach the healing experience as a form of battle.

Those of you seeking greater insight into your own paths as Facilitators/Priestesses, you might want to consider getting a Vesta Special Reading done at this time as Vesta (the Goddess Asteroid of Priestessing) is lighting up the skies, and charging it with her Sacred Flame! Hooray!

Many Blessings and Much Love,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD  ( @theskypriestess on Twitter ) ; www.fb.com/theskypriestess ( Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD FB Page )

Text and Image (Kolam at Kapaaleshwarar Mylapore Temple, 2015) © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved.

Remember that my Vesta specials are still ongoing!

Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD​