Total Solar Eclipse in Cancer: July 2, 2019

Its eclipse season! The first eclipse will be a Total Solar Eclipse on July 2 @ 11:55am CST. The eclipse will be primarily visible from South America, but its energetic impact will be universal depending on how the eclipse affects your chart. Astrologically, I view eclipses in the same vein as outer planet transits. This eclipse is happening in the sign of Cancer. If you have Ascendant, Ascendant Lord, Sun, Moon, Ātmakāraka, or one of the lunar nodes in Cancer, then you can expect this to be a significant eclipse for you. Further, if your 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th house cusps fall in Cancer, this will also be an important eclipse for you, and you will especially see its effect in your outer life. (Free Chart Calculator below).

What are eclipses all about? It depends on your perspective. Astronomically, solar eclipses occur when either the north (Rāhu) or south node (Ketu) of the Moon intersects the orbital plane of the Moon and the ecliptic (apparent path of the Sun around the Earth). When this intersection occurs, the light of the Sun is temporarily obscured. Mythologically, the origin of eclipses is told in the myth of Lord Vishnu churning the ocean to produce the nectar of immortality (amrita) for the gods. A demon named Svarbhānu was falsely posed as a god, waiting to receive the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu recognized the demon's deception and cut Svarbhānu in half as punishment. However, the demon had already tasted a drop, and was thus immortalized in its fracture. It is said that ever since this event, from time to time, the demon takes revenge and swallows the gods, seen as the event of solar and lunar eclipses. 

Thus, from the Vedic perspective, eclipses are seen as an inauspicious time when the demons are victorious over the gods. Yet this is only one interpretation. If we take a psychological perspective and see the lunar nodes as "shadow points", then we have another perspective on eclipses. The two halves of the severed demon are what we now refer to as the nodes of the Moon. The Moon is the archetype of our mind, and so everyone born in this world is born with a fractured consciousness, a world of duality, opposites, and friction that is the source of psychological strife. We can also consider the traditional Vedic descriptions of the Moon as "lovesick", or always separated from its "other half". These are all ways of describing the nature of the human mind. 

From this view, the depiction of Rahu or Ketu vengefully swallowing the Sun or Moon is a symbol of the unconscious shadow swallowing the light of Divinity within us. What is unconscious is a part of us that we are not yet conscious of, that remains yet un-illumined. Until it is illuminated, or brought to consciousness, it represents a vacuum, an obscuration of light. If we consider the phenomenology of eclipses to be primarily psychological, then we can appreciate the transformative potential of these alignments in nature. The premise of astrology and also medicine is the same: what is outside corresponds to what is inside. Therefore, an eclipse is a potent reflection of a psychological dynamic that is in fact always active within us and which is seeking resolution. The eclipse can thus serve as a magnifier, allowing us to see more clearly something which was always there, waiting to be consciously assimilated. 

From the perspective of the Kalacakra Tantra, eclipses are a time when the energies of nature are absorbed in their original spaciousness. As space (or ether) is the first element, space is the singularity and unmanifest potential that gives rise to the world of duality. During an eclipse, the duality of nature (Sun and Moon) are temporarily resolved in their "source". As such, the Tantra states that during an eclipse, the polar currents of life-energy (ida and pingala nādis) are temporarily drawn into the central channel (sushumna nādi) from which they originate, a phenomenon that is the goal of traditional Yoga. In this sense, an eclipse temporarily offers the merits of Yoga, even to the unqualified. This is why it is said that spiritual practices engaged during an eclipse are a thousand times more effective. 

Returning to Lord Vishnu's churning of the ocean, we can see that it is really a metaphor for the alchemical processes of Yoga. The churning of the ocean purifies it of toxins. The pure is now fully separated from the impure, just as ghee is clarified from butter. The remaining essence is the nectar (amrita) of immortal life. But the poison must also be released, and here we must remember that it is Lord Shiva, the Supreme Yogi, who holds the poison in his throat and remains unaffected. 

Thus, the consideration of eclipses must shift from its focus as a purely outer event, to an event of personal, psychological, and potentially Yogic significance. The consideration of a north node eclipse is what new forms of nourishment are you capable of assimilating? And therefore, what are you willing to let go of? As it is a solar eclipse, it is a time to re-evaluate our creative inspirations and how we want to manifest ourselves in the world. All of this points us back to the polarity of the Capricorn-Cancer eclipse axis: the integration of the outer and inner worlds. 

Link to an essay I wrote last year, "The Yoga of Eclipses", that explores these concepts in more depth: https://tinyurl.com/y4jyp7na

The two primary aspects of the body-mind must be balanced and they must be joined at the center, at the heart, at the feeling dimension. When they have been purified, balanced, equalized, clarified, then the very Nature of which they are the modification Awakens or Shines forth. That Nature is asleep now. It is only permitted to reveal itself in states of consciousness that you do not remember, basically during deep sleep. In deep, dreamless sleep you enter into direct association with the state that you are eternally, but you have no consciousness at all. That association is only permitted in a state of unconsciousness. But if in the waking state we become responsible for the phases of the body-mind, and for this curious idea we have of the body-mind as an independent fleshy thing, and of our souls as independent, internal, subjective, or mental things, we can become liberated from illusions and stand as we are. And suddenly that Consciousness which is otherwise revealed only in unconsciousness Awakens during the waking state. 

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

“Enlightenment Is True Health”, The Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace, p. 168

Q&A: Mushrooms in Ayurveda

What does Ayurveda have to say about medicinal mushrooms, including psychoactive mushrooms? Why does Ayurveda consider mushrooms to be tamasic in nature? And what are the effects of microdosing on psilocybin mushrooms?

These excellent questions were asked in an Ayurveda Facebook group by someone who has been microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms and experiencing relief from anxiety, insomnia, and related symptoms. I’m sharing my response to these questions here for those who may find it interesting. More thoughts on related topics (including medical cannabis) coming soon.

A: Medicinal mushrooms (reishi, cordyceps, lion's mane, etc.) are definitely useful. Chinese medicine makes use of these substances, but Ayurveda does not. The idea that mushrooms are tamasic is because they grow underground. They bring us closer to Earth consciousness which is tamasic. I personally don't really buy this logic and have found medicinal mushrooms to be useful in my own experience. We forget that in the Earth is the essence of Heaven and mushrooms seem to exemplify this. Reishi feels like a great rasayana, Lion's Mane a wonderful cooling nervine, and so on. We have to remember the cultural limitations of traditional medical systems. Look at how TCM and Ayurveda share five element theory among so many other things and yet their dietary recommendations are vastly different. This is due to culture, philosophy, and what is around. Tibetans for example rarely discuss the type of diet that is relevant for us because they lived in the mountains, so Tibetan medical texts don't help us too much with diet aside from outlining the theory. Learn the theory and become sensitive and you can apply it universally. 

As for psychoactive mushrooms (psilocybin), there is some great research on its therapeutic benefits. See Michael Pollan's "How To Change Your Mind" book. Ayurvedically, these substances should be understood to be quite powerful. They temporarily increase vata and possibly other doshas as well. This may or may not be pathological, depending on your constitution and overall balance. Most important is that while using psychoactive substances, you have to maintain ojas. These substances feed on the vital essences of the body, so they come with a responsibility. Mushrooms among other things have been used traditionally in India by yogis in the context of disciplined Spiritual practice. Such people were already masters of their own energies. 

It is important to remember that there is no magical substance that can enlighten us or heal us. We all have to be responsible for our health and practice the proper diet, lifestyle, and so forth that enables it. Also important to remember that when it comes to powerful substances such as psilocybin mushrooms or even cannabis, so much depends on your agni and ojas. If you have the agni for it (not just physically, but also energetically and psychologically), then it can be a nectar for you in the right times and places. If you don't have the agni, it will feed on your ojas, and over time deplete your immunity and vitality, becoming an effective poison. 

So, as with all things Ayurvedic, the real answer is "it depends". I am not aware of any direct references to psychedelic mushrooms in Ayurvedic texts, but all of these substances belong under the category of "soma". That does not mean it is nourishing and you should just eat as much as you want. Soma is the devotional offering into the Vedic fire. These substances were used in that ritual and shamanic context. If your inner fire is burning, then you can offer the soma, and you will see what happens. Whether or not soma was one plant or not is irrelevant in my view. It was likely a number of offerings that were made, and ultimately, is a way of describing the sacrifice of our own earthly life-force into the fire of heaven.

Q&A: Predictions For The Kali Yuga?

A client asked a great question today that I thought would be interesting for everyone. 

QUESTION: Neeshee, some Vedic astrologers are making dire prediction like the world is coming to an end, that we will experience natural disasters, calamities, billions will die, and such.

Others are saying it is a time of great transformations for all mankind and individuals.

What is your take on all these astrological patterns?

ANSWER: That is a very good question. Light and dark are two sides of the same coin, so it is possible to notice them simultaneously. You can say that the times are dark right now but you can also say that it is a great moment of transformation and evolution--and both could be seen as true. 

As for dire astrological predictions, I do not believe that what is to come is predictable. You can of course plot the current pattern of things and see what would happen if that just continued. But that is a fatalistic stance that I do not agree with. There is the possibility for change and nothing is set in stone. I see the current moment more as an opportunity. What is useful from an astrological perspective is to help people consciously harmonize with a positive destiny. I do not think it is useful to make apocalyptic predictions because it appeals to people's fears and anxieties, and more often leaves them less empowered to do what could make a difference. Ultimately, it depends on whether you believe life is a rigged system, that whatever is going to happen is going to happen anyways, or whether you feel it is possible to be a creative participant. In other words, should we just resign to Saturn or should we aspire to be the Sun?

Transformation is by its very nature the friction between birth and death. Something is dying and something new is taking shape. If you get too focused on either extreme, then you lose the bigger picture. It can seem like everything is dying and falling apart (apocalypse) or it can seem like something new is emerging (evolution). Neither one is absolutely true in itself. We are certainly living in a transformative time--whether it results in something evolutionary or simply becomes a new version of the same old thing remains to be seen and depends on the choices we make as a collective. Fundamentally, astrology is about living a conscious life, and the light of consciousness is the only remedy for darkness. 

I'll leave you with the words of my Guru, from a talk He gave in 1993 titled "The Happiness That Transcends The World": 

"DEVOTEE: Beloved Master, You refer to this era as the "dark" time. Is that reference specifically relative to human existence? Or is this time 'dark' in relation to existence altogether? 

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: This is the 'dark' time in terms of human existence--but everything else is affected by humankind. Existence is a Unity. 

If you watch the 'daily news', or otherwise stay in touch with what is happening in the 'world', it is not difficult to perceive that this is a rather 'dark' time, and not a 'new age' or 'golden age'. Especially since the nineteenth century, the idea of 'progress' has been heavily promoted. For a long while, people were even hopeful about manifesting utopia via science and technology. Various cultural devices have likewise been promoted based on that utopian idealism, that notion of 'progress'. In the 1960s and 1970s especially, and even up until now, people have been promoting 'new-age consciousness', 'new-age religion', and so on. These, too, are based on the current idealism about 'progress' that began especially in the mid-nineteenth century. 

However, the 'world' is now in a period of time in which one can see what is actually happening as a result of idealizing the notion of 'progress'. Not too long from now, not only human life but even life of any kind on this planet could become untenable. This is at time of political and social and cultural degradation and upheaval. There is the potential for profound destruction and the death of billions of human beings. 

Changes must be made--and they are not being made presently. All kinds of things should be straightened out relative to the effects humankind is having on the Earth-environment. All kinds of changes should be made politically and socially, on a global scale, through cooperative efforts and embrace of right principles. But that is not being done. The effort toward competition and falseness is continuing. 

Of course, the situation on Earth will not necessarily be so bad that no life is tenable. Life, including human life, may continue on this planet. It just depends on how human beings do it. It just depends on how much of this 'dark' result human beings collectively wind up manufacturing. It is not 'written'. It is up to you.

. . .The Heart Is Paradise, regardless of the signs of the times. . .The general history to come is 'dark', and you should take that possibility seriously. Others in the past have lived in 'dark' times, too. Just because the 'late-time' (or 'dark' epoch) is occurring on a bigger scale this time, and appearing on TV, does not mean that others in the past have not lived and suffered through, and died in, 'dark' times. 

. . .Do not expect utopia to happen on Earth. The times are "dark". It will be so. Perhaps something better can be done--that is to be seen. The manifestation of something better in the "world" requires that you also participate in the process of transformation. . .Who knows how long the Earth will be a survivable place for human beings? This is not the only "world", in any case--and you were always going to die. Death is guaranteed, anyway. As the "world" takes on the color of death, you must more and more take on the color of the Heart". 

(Quotation excerpted from My 'Bright' Form, pp. 234 - 237, Copyright © 2016 ASA).

Seasonal Gaps of Transformation

Some interesting shifts today. Uranus entered Taurus again after completing its retrograde cycle in Aries. It is also a New Moon in Pisces. And Mercury began its retrograde cycle (which will end March 28). Also worth mentioning is the Spring Equinox exactly two weeks away (March 20). 

A lot of initiatory energy! Inspiration is on the rise as the Sun gets closer to its exaltation in Aries on March 20. This is a great time to consider how you want to conduct all the creative energy that is starting to blossom. We are now in the transitional space between seasons, further magnified by Uranus entering Taurus and Mercury going retrograde. These transitional spaces can feel unsettling, precisely because it is "in between" things. 

We are so used to motion that we often forget about the precious opportunity of space. The "gap" of a seasonal cusp is a time to connect with what is happening in your life (internally and externally) without the burdens of motion. Space gives us clarity, so use it to process what you don't need to carry into the next season, and to feel what you would like to manifest anew. The soil is growing fertile--what weeds do you want to pull and which seeds do you want to sprout?

The Sun: Light, Life, and Awareness

"In the older cultures, the visible sun and its light were and are worshipped and concentrated upon for the sake of physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual transformation. As such, the sun is viewed as a kind of icon, a living symbol in the universe for the Divine Sun or Prior Light that is Creative relative to the world. However, such practices, as well as their more esoteric counterparts, which conceive of the Sun within and subtly above for the same purpose, are expressions of a view of the world and of conscious existence in which Light (the Sun itself) is acknowledged as Truth and its emanations (sunlight) exploited as a method or way to Truth. 

. . . Although the Principle of Light may be senior to the Principle of Life, it is itself secondary to the Principle of the Awareness of both Life and Light. And all three of these Principles, which together form the foundation of every kind of esoteric and extraordinary knowledge, are fundamentals of the World-Process". 

--Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Light Is A Great Temptation",
Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun, p. 225

Ace of Spades Synchronicities

Last week, my fiancé got a new Tarot deck and was testing it out. She spread the cards out and asked me to choose one. I drew and turned it over--The Sun! She picked up all the cards and shuffled them, and then asked me to draw again. I picked the Sun card again! It felt like the message was loud and clear, so I did not draw any more cards after that. 

Later in the day, I was feeling like I should check my Year Spread to see when I'll be running a new card. It turns out I was starting a new card the very next day--and this synchronicity of checking my Year Spread a day before I start a new card has happened now 4 times in a row. What is more interesting though is the card I was starting the next day: Ace of Spades, the Sun card! It seemed like the Tarot reading earlier in the day was just an omen of what was to come. 

The Ace of Spades is the "key" card for the Spades suit, because Spades are the first suit and Ace is the first card. Ace of Spades is agni, the creative fire that is the foundation of all life. The Ace of Spades thus carries all the astrological connotations of the Sun: foundation, steadfastness, reliability, creativity, inspiration, the manifestation of light. The Spades suit represents the tree, that which grows toward the Sun. We can see how the Spade resembles the tree, but we can also see how the Spade resembles a flame. 

I've been running the Ace of Spades for a week now and I've observed several synchronicities:

1. The day I started the Ace of Spades is the day I started teaching my first introductory course on Ayurveda and Astrology. 

2. I spontaneously began intensifying my intake of raw green foods. I also started doing more yoga and going for longer walks every day. 

3. The start of this card coincided with some really beautiful sunny days here. I was noticing my desire to be outside to soak up the sunshine and how good it felt. On one day, Nicole and I even sat outside on our porch and had lunch under the full sun, enjoying its warmth and vitality. I did not even realize the connection between these activities and the Ace of Spades until a few days later. 

4. I started harmonizing with the natural cycle of the Sun. I am waking up to meditate before sunrise. I noticed that when I start my morning routine of Suyra Namaskar now, I am actually greeting the rising Sun, without planning to. 

The theme of this card, as I am experiencing it, is purification and re-vitalization. Indeed, these are the two functions of fire: the burning of toxins and the radiance of vitality. Since starting this card, I have been feeling a level of physical and energetic vitality I have not felt in a long time. Psychologically, I feel radiant, stable, inspired, and creative. What I am feeling is the harmony between the physical and etheric bodies (annamayakosha and pranamayakosha). According to Adi Da, the harmonious conjunction of these two bodies is the principle of all healing. Adi Da also describes how the hierarchy of manifest existence can be perceived through yogic vision as a mandala of lights. He describes the physical body (and gross dimension) as "red" and the etheric body (and energetic dimension) as "yellow". In "Conductivity Healing", Adi Da writes: 

"The physical is the red realm, and the etheric is the yellow realm. Healing is a matter of keeping the conjunction between yellow and red in balance, and flowing. . . ".

When red and yellow are harmoniously integrated, we have the image of a flame. This is the true secret of agni. If we can understand what it means for the physical and etheric bodies to enjoy a harmonious integration, then we can begin to understand what the ancient healers meant when they asserted that agni was the foundation of health. The truly balanced agni is not only the fire of physical digestion, but the ignited flame of the physical and energetic bodies when they are in resonance. The "yellow-red conjunction" is a deeper meaning of agni as the "flame" that keeps us vitalized. 

We all have to be more like trees--green and growing in the light of the Sun. This is the meaning of the Spade. Eventually, the leaves of the tree fall to the ground to nourish the Earth and the seeds of new life. This is the meaning of the Diamond, the crystals forged by fire. 

I am consistently amazed at the "magic" of the cards, the depth of their meaning, and how well the patterns they indicate are seen in life. I know others who are familiar with the Cards of Truth who have observed similar synchronicities. If so, comment and share your experience! 

"The Law of life is sacrifice, or unqualified relationship, and the Instrumental Source of life is the Transcendental Sun or Light, the Vibratory Radiance or Current felt to permeate body, mind, and world with its all-pervading Presence, Spirit, or Breath". 

--Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun

Ace of Spades card photo is from a Cards of Truth deck designed by Carmina-Adelina Amza.

Carmina's Cards of Truth Deck

Just received a new Cards of Truth deck designed by Carmina-Adelina Amza

This is a beautiful deck of cards. What I especially like about Carmina's deck is the quality of purity and balance. The cards are completely white which allows for the colors of the suits to remain prominent. There is a sattvic quality to this deck, a simple but potent communication of the symbols and qualities of the suits, colors, and numbers. Carmina's portrayal of the personifications (Jack, Queen, King) are also the best I have seen so far.

People might not think too much about card decks, but they do make a difference in card readings. A good deck presents a clear communication of the rich meaning of the cards but without too much interpretation, allowing the reflective space for the reader to see what is of significance in the moment of the reading. 

This deck is inspiring me to do some card readings! Much thanks to Carmina for designing this. I highly recommend this deck for anyone who is doing card readings, especially in the Cards of Truth system.

True Soma: Essay on Blood Moon Eclipse

The Total Lunar Eclipse is only a few days away on January 20! This is a "Blood Moon" eclipse that will be visible from the United States, beginning on the night of the 20th at 8:36pm CST, with the maximum eclipse at 11:12pm CST. 

In writing about this eclipse, I explored the meaning of Rahu in Cancer and Pushya nakshatra. I also used the Cards of Truth system to look at the birth card of this eclipse as well as its relationship to the partial solar eclipse which preceded it. It is very interesting to me the way that the solar and lunar eclipses echo each other, or form a single pattern. I also explored several related topics including the nature of eclipse cycles, the differences between solar and lunar eclipses, the nature of north vs. south node eclipses, and a consideration of remedial measures. 

I would recommend reading my earlier essay on the partial solar eclipse ("The Creative Mastery of Inner and Outer Life") before reading this one, as everything I said there still applies. This essay is more of an expansion of that. Enjoy! 

True Soma - The Total Lunar Eclipse of January 20, 2019


Do Vāta Types Need Meat?

Do vāta types need to eat meat to stay grounded? This is a very common scenario I encounter with my patients. It is a complex issue, so I decided to write an article to share why I think meat (and heavy foods) are not necessary for vāta people to stay grounded. I explore this from the perspectives of Ayurvedic pathology as well as through considering some differences between Vedic and Tantric philosophies. 

Excerpt: There is a common misconception that people of vāta constitution need to eat meat (or heavy foods in general) in order to stay "grounded". Invariably, my vāta patients seem to confirm this hypothesis when they tell me that they need to eat meat to feel grounded. The practice of using something heavy in nature to balance what is perceived as being too light is, in fact, one of the fundamentals of Ayurvedic medical theory. While this practice possesses a certain wisdom about balancing with opposites, it also has some shortcomings. Therefore, I would like to consider this issue of groundedness and diet from a more expansive lens.

Full article: https://static1.squarespace.com/…/154610…/Grounding+Vāta.pdf

Stay tuned for more articles, the next one will be focused on the upcoming partial solar eclipse of Jan 6.

Winter Solstice / Makara Sankranti

Tomorrow (21st) is the Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere (4:23pm CST). The Winter Solstice is marked by the passage of the Sun into the sign of Capricorn, celebrated in the Hindu festival of "Makara Sankranti". Interestingly, Makara Sankranti is one of the few Hindu festivals that is calculated according to solar cycles, rather than lunar cycles. (However, due to zodiacal confusion, Makara Sankranti is no longer celebrated in India on the actual day of the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, but on the sidereal ingress of the Sun in Capricorn on January 14th.) 

As with all seasonal shifts, the solstice is a time of adjustment and adaptation, and therefore a time to reduce unnecessary burdens on the body and mind. During this time, the doshas are especially in flux and prone to accumulation, and so it is best to adopt a simple and balanced dietary and lifestyle regime. In the winter season, Vāta is more easily aggravated than at other times, so it is crucial to stay warm, maintain harmonious routines, and receive the message of nature during this time which is to conserve life-energy. 

The auspicious Full Moon in Cancer follows the solstice on the 22nd, giving the brightness of its own sign. Cancer corresponds to the heart region of the body, the psychic center of the being. Cancer also signifies the home, one's environment, and emotional security. Cancer is also the sign of Jupiter's exaltation, the home of the heart's inner joy. Cancer is an internally-focused sign, symbolized by the crab. The crab is a natural hermit, living in terrestrial holes in the ground only to emerge under the light of the Moon. The Full Moon in Cancer thus furthers the internalizing and "yin" significations of the Winter Solstice. This is a great time to be in the sphere of intimacy, at home connecting with family and friends.

Karen White and I did Full Moon forecasts for each Ascendant, so check out these videos if you want to uncover the particular significance of this Full Moon for you: 

Part 1: https://youtu.be/QbT4PVENbT0

Part 2: https://youtu.be/V5qwVXLXv4g

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy period of time ahead!

Rahu in Cancer / Ketu in Capricorn

Rahu and Ketu moved into Cancer and Capricorn today after spending the past year and a half in Leo and Aquarius! Are you feeling the shifts? 

Today is also the midterm election in the US, which is very interesting timing. What does this mean? Rahu in Cancer indicates the need to develop internally where the true source of stability and happiness is found, while Ketu in Capricorn indicates the need to release the stress of trying to manage the outer conditions of life as an exclusive means of stability and happiness. 

The lesson of this election is that change is an inside out process. The true signs of change, transformation, and stability will not necessarily be reflected in the outer landscape of life until it has grown and ripened in the inner landscape of human consciousness (individually and collectively). Just as ripe fruit has no choice but to fall from the tree and nourish the ground on which it falls, the seeds of inner change are inevitably expressed outwardly. 

Many are feeling the evolutionary urge of Rahu today as they go and cast their vote (many for the first time), but our expectations for change must also direct us to the deeper process of understanding and transcendence which is its proper fuel. 

Rahu and Ketu are a polarity, an apparent tension of opposites. This tension affects our live at every level, and we can see it quite easily in the two-party system of American politics. The idea that a tug of war will enable one side to win over the other is a false resolution. The true resolution of polarity is not in the potency of opposition but in the revelation of unity. 

Two days from now on Nov 8, Jupiter enters its own sign of Sagittarius, a gracious and beneficial transit for all. Jupiter is the flow of goodness that stands beyond all oppositions, casting its light on enemies and friends alike. We have much to learn from Jupiter and from all its manifestations, especially the teachers and Gurus who embody its Gracious expression and light the sparks of Universal Joy within us. 

"The truly mature human individual is, characteristically, free of all the intrinsically and inevitably frustrating limitations of conditional reality and the personal and collective relationship-politics of social egoity. 

The truly mature human individual is radiant in the world, such that the Prior Unity of Reality Itself Is egolessly Alive As his or her human person. 

Therefore, a world-collective of truly mature (and, thus, rightly humanly and esoterically acculturated) human individuals can create a truly human, benign, moral, and Reality-Enlightened culture, founded in the Intrinsic Self-Apprehension of the Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality Itself. 

Only such a world-collective of truly mature human individuals is truly free of the inherent and chronic frustrations that otherwise constantly and only produce subhuman societies, subhuman cravings, and subhuman destinies (both before and after death)". 

~Avatar Adi Da Samraj
from "The ego-Culture of Desire and The ego-Transcending Culture of Love"
Not-Two Is Peace

Remedy For Full Moon Stress

A remedy for when the Full Moon is keeping you up at night: 

Apply a few drops of Jatamansi essential oil (also known as Spikenard) to the heart chakra, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. 

The Full Moon increases the winds [vāyu] in the heart and head. The vital points for the heart reside in the heart chakra (middle of chest), middle of the palms, and the middle of the soles of the feet. Jatamansi settles the winds of the heart and mind, making it a powerful remedy for sleep, stress, and anxiety.

Ghee For Exaltation

Full Moon in Taurus is fast approaching--the perfect time to make a fresh batch of ghee!

In the medical texts, it is recommended to make ghee during the waxing phase of the Moon and especially during the Full Moon. Additionally, ghee should be made during the lunar half of the day (evening). What is the wisdom behind these recommendations? 

The Full Moon represents the brightest phase of the lunar cycle, and therefore the apex of nourishing (somagenic) energy in the atmosphere. The preparation of ghee during this particular time allows for ghee (as an essence food) to be maximally infused with nourishing and rejuvenating qualities. 

Ghee is the essence of milk, and milk is the essence of grass. Those who wonder why Indians hold the cow in such esteem need only understand the role of ghee in health, as it is the cow's unique digestive system that extracts the essence of grass. Nature is green, and green foods are the most nourishing we can consume. The process of photosynthesis allows greens to capture the "fire" of the Sun and concentrate it in the form of chlorophyll. In this way, greens are the solar foundation for the white nourishing foods. Greens should be eaten to increase agni (solar force) while its essence, milk, should be consumed to increase soma (lunar force). 

According to the Tibetan medical Tantras, it takes 6 days for food to be completely processed through each of the seven tissues, rendering the final tissue: the reproductive fluid (shukra dhātu). The essence of the reproductive tissue is the true vital essence, ojas. Milk has the unique ability to penetrate the seven tissues within 24hrs, quickly increasing the quantity of the reproductive fluid, and thereby the vital essence. This is why milk is considered to be a rasāyana (rejuvenative). Ghee, as the essence of milk, does not require as much processing, and instantly replenishes the vital essence. Thus, ghee is something akin to "instant ojas". 

Milk is heavy with soma and requires significant agni to properly transform. In theory, it replenishes the reproductive tissue within 24hrs, but if agni is insufficient at any of the 6 tissues preceding the last dhātu, then it fails to be transformed at the next level, losing its rejuvenative capability and contributing to the formation of toxins instead. In contrast, ghee is light, easy to digest, and aids digestion. The process of making ghee also removes the hard-to-digest milk protein (casein) and sugar (lactose). 

The Explanatory Tantra of Tibetan Medicine states: 

"The end product of chain synthesis of bodily constituents [seven dhātus] beyond the regenerative fluid [shukra dhātu] is dhang [ojas], which is the supreme vitality. Although it resides in the heart, its energy pervades throughout the body to sustain life and brings vigor and radiance". 

Another consideration relative to the preparation of ghee is environment and intention. Given ghee's essentialized nature, it is more transparent to the vibration of the environment and likewise to the intention of the person making it. Ghee is not only potentiated by the lunar phase, but by the consciousness of the person preparing it. The person preparing ghee should chant, or listen to the recitation of sacred texts or mantras, during the preparation of ghee to further potentiate it. In this case, ghee becomes more of an alchemical substance, a carrier of concentrated energies that exceed its materiality. With this understanding, we can begin to appreciate the reverence and passion with which ghee is discussed in traditional medical texts, the importance of astrology in medicine, and the ways in which medicine must be transparent to subtler anatomical realities in order to affect true healing. 

If you don't know how to make ghee, it is very easy and worth learning. Otherwise, buy ghee from a trusted practitioner. It should always be organic and 100% grass-fed from happy cows (high butterfat is also a plus).

Autumn Equinox

September 22 is the autumn equinox in the Northern hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern hemisphere. The medical traditions of India and Tibet teach that the shift in seasons are a time of doshic imbalance and therefore a recommended time for cleansing. Spring and Fall cleanses are therefore among the most common times for cleansing. But first, what is an equinox? An equinox occurs when the Earth's equatorial plane passes through the center of the Sun, placing the center of the Sun directly above the equator. This is when day and night are of equal length--the still-point of the energy of nature, as it shifts to another seasonal phase. 

As the Sun's position relative to the Earth changes, the flow of life-energy in our bodies change. This especially affects our agni, the fire of life, the most concrete manifestation of which is the digestive fire. As the digestive fire fluctuates during the seasonal shift, it is common to experience digestive troubles as the physiology re-acclamates to a new arrangement of energetic patterns. At this time, the doshas are temporarily in a unique state of flux. This is why equinoxes are a good time to lighten the diet and allow the digestive fire to reset before it develops a pathological momentum. 

The Autumn equinox is often associated with the dry, light, and rough qualities of Vata. But we should also remember that this is a season when any of the excess Pitta we have accumulated over the Summer will start to overflow. If this is the case, it is common to experience rashes in the Fall season as the excess Pitta begins to eliminate itself through the skin. It is therefore especially important during this seasonal transition to maintain an alkalizing diet. 

Astrologically, the Autumn equinox signifies the Sun's entry into Libra, its sign of Debilitation. Our digestive fire will not be strong during this time which means that we should not overburden it. Eat lightly with appropriate gaps between meals, giving the digestive fire enough space to re-ignite itself. Eating plenty of greens during this time will maintain alkalinity, detoxification, and rejuvenate the digestive fire. Mars-Ketu conjunction in Aquarius will keep things fiery, especially with the Full Moon in Aries on September 24. It is certainly a fiery start to the Fall season, so Pitta types need to take care of themselves. Vata imbalances can also be on the rise during the windy season, so this is a time to maintain harmonious and regular routines. The more we keep our inner winds in balance, the less affected we will be by the outer winds. This can also be a great time to take some of the classic Vata-balancing herbal formulas (contact me for more information). 

Fasting, cleansing, and all means of re-calibrating one's consciousness are recommended during this time. The seasonal shift is a psycho-physical shift, a time to adjust and adapt ourselves to nature's flow and thereby maintain our healthy and vitality for another seasonal phase. Those who are interested in an approach to cleansing or who are looking for advice as they settle into the new season can contact me via my website. I am still doing Ayurvedic consultations, but in the context of medical astrological readings.

The Lost Calculation: Between India and Tibet

I am happy to announce the completion of my essay, "The Lost Calculation: Between India and Tibet". This essay is a brief examination of the Kālacakra Tantra and its implications for astrology (Indian and Tibetan). What has been of interest to me is the Tantra's criticism and correction of the siddhāntic calculations, which amounts to an adjustment of the sidereal calculations to tropical calculations. It is interesting that the Tibetans incorporated Indian astrology (signs, nakshatras, etc.), but adjusted the calculations to a tropical zodiac. Given the tediousness of manual calculations, we must at least be open to considering that they had compelling reasons for doing so. 

My purpose in presenting this is not to incite a zodiac debate, as I don't believe polemics have any utility. Rather, I hope the verses of the Tantra will engender an open and positive consideration of astrology, zodiacs, and the implication of cross-cultural exchanges. 

Dreaming

"You must become sensitive to yourself and understand yourself, and through your sensitivity observe your physical existence fully. Then you must observe your etheric existence, your existence as energy, and begin to function consciously as energy in relation to others. Be useful to others, but also be alive as energy. Be free. Be balanced. Be sensitive to your psyche. Be sensitive to the contents of your conscious awareness. Do not shut them off. Become capable of dreams, of reverie, and of being psychic. Be sensitive to your archetypes, the poetry and metaphors of your conscious awareness. Allow them to be legitimized. In other words, legitimize "subjective" existence. You must legitimize it before you can transcend it. 

You must become sensitive to yourself not just as a physical being, but as an etheric and psychic being. To become so sensitive is a matter of ordinary human learning. Even someone who has fully learned all this has not begun the process of Spiritual life. It is just the ordinary equipment of human beings. But when human beings become responsible for this ordinary equipment, then they can grow beyond it, transform it, and make it usable in a higher sense. 

Human beings are not here merely to grow wheat and make computers! To be socially productive is just one aspect of human existence, and people have no business being devoted to it exclusively. You must develop a free human existence and be free to grow in dimensional terms. You live as energy. You live as light. You live in the Infinite Domain of Real God. This is self-evident when you become sensitive enough to break out of your mind-set."

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Conductivity Healing, pp. 59-60