Saturday, July 28, 2007
I just returned from a Yoga Nidra meditation class. Yoga Nidra is sometimes referred to as the yoga of sleep, but it is far more than that. It is one of the deepest meditations. It cultivates a stillpoint of the mind so that one can be in the deepest sleep vibration while conscious.
One of the reasons I love my yoga teacher, Katerina, is that she is so in sync with universal energy. Tonight's class started at 7 pm, when the constellation of Sagittarius with the galactic center, Vishnu's navel, was rising. I had wanted to include this image of Vishnu dreaming with my last post on the GC, but I thought it was too esoteric.
In tonight's class, Katerina began her instruction with the story of Vishnu's dream:
Brahma (Ultimate Creator) sits on a lotus,the symbol of divine energy and divine grace. The lotus grows from the navel of Vishnu, who is the sleeping god, whose dream is the universe. . . . Brahma opens his eyes and a world comes into being. . . Brahma closes his eyes, and a world goes out of being. ~Joseph Campbell
She also described the esoteric meaning of AUM as three states: A=Brahma/creator, U=Vishnu (preserver)/, M=Shiva (destroyer) and it reminded me of the four elements of the structure of the aum symbol that refer to waking, sleeping, enlightened and dreaming states -- as in the prayer flag illustrated here. I can't help but compare them to the four yugas -- each with its own state of consciousness. I believe that the alignment of the solstices with the galactic center, Vishnunabhi, marks the point in cyclic time when the Kali Yuga (Iron Age) shifts to the Satya Yuga (Golden Age). . . when we go from sleep state to enlightenment. Or could the opening and closing of Brahma's eye refer to the pulse generated by the periodic explosions at the GC? For more on this theory see http://www.jayweidner.com/2012Topology.html.
As I just described my last post, the ancient seers of the Vedic culture referred to the Galactic Center as Vishnunabhi, or the navel of Vishnu. What a perfect time to practice Yoga Nidra, as Vishnu's navel was rising. I have to say it was easier than usual to activate this state, perhaps because the planetary line up is so supportive with Pluto's transit of this region all rising at the horizon.
I am looking forward to sleep tonight. Since I started the Yoga Nidra practice this spring, my restless sleep pattern has changed. My dream world has shifted to what it was in childhood, a reflection of what I wanted to create in reality. As Katerina also quoted from Joseph Campbell:
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
As mythology has developed around man's stories about the constellations, perhaps we are the public dreams of stars; and each of us are stars within stars creating our own private worlds. The archetypes in my dreams are playing out in amazing ways and coincide beautifully with stellar messages. As above, so below, and within. Sweet dreams!
Friday, July 27, 2007
The Galactic Center (GC) is the mysterious and complex bright core around which our spiraling galaxy rotates. It cannot be observed at visible, ultraviolet, or x-ray wavelengths because interstellar dust obscures the line of sight. All scientific information about the GC comes from observations of gamma ray, hard X-ray, infrared, sub-millimetre and radio wavelengths. The precise astronomical location of the Galactic Center at approximately 3 degrees Sagittarius (sidereal) was first verified in 1918 by Harlow Shapley. However its energetic connection to the earth was not realized until 1932 when Karl G. Jansky, an engineer working for Bell Telephone, was investigating the source of the static interference with overseas telephone lines. He discovered that the interference was due to radio waves being emitted from the center of the galaxy. The source of the radio waves appears to be located almost exactly at the Galactic Center, and may coincide with a super massive black hole. This black hole has the equivalent mass of 4 million suns and is the source of most of the gravitational energy in our galaxy.
In 2002 Antony Stark and Chris Martin presented research that indicated evidence of episodic star bursts at the GC in which many stars undergo supernova explosions at a hundred times the current rate. They believe these explosive events occur every 500 million years with the next one due in 200 million years. The effect on earth would/will be cataclysmic. Some scientists even theorize a pulse generated 200 million years ago may have been responsible for mass extinctions, thus inferring that these pulses are responsible for shifts in evolution.
Although their calculations may be a little different than modern ones, ancient Vedic and Mayan seers described similar phenomena. The Maya had a glyph (see above) for the Galactic Center called Hunab Ku, the supreme God and ultimate Creator. To them it represented the gateway to other Galaxies beyond our Sun as well as all of the Consciousness that has ever existed in this Galaxy. Hunab Ku is liken to a womb that births new stars and it gave birth to our own Sun and planet Earth. The Maya also described periodic bursts of energy coming from Hunab Ku that influence life and consciousness here on earth, and the Mayan Calendar marks these cycles, which some believe are to coincide with the conclusion of the current cycle in 2012.
The ancient seers of the Vedic culture referred to the Galactic Center as Vishnunabhi, or the navel of Vishnu. It is a marker for the ascending and descending yuga cycles that are measured by our Earth/Sun relationship to it (ie the pole star alignments at the solstices). Its location at the end of the final Gandanta series is intriguing. As I wrote in a previous post, each of the Fire signs are the portals to soul growth. Aries marks the beginning of the soul's journey, the individuated or inner self; Leo develops the outer self and material; and Sagittarius designates the point at which the soul turns away from the material as it seeks to merge with universal consciousness. Since the GC falls in the early degrees of Sagittarius, it marks the gateway to this transition. Therefore, planets transiting this space channel energy from that portal to our solar system, and depending on their nature express messages from the core to those of us on Earth who are listening -- and willing to evolve.
In 2005 Edith Hathaway published an article on Pluto's transit of the Galactic Center entitled Pluto in Kali's Zone. She writes: "The two nakshatras most associated with Kali are Jyestha and Mula. . . In this particular transitional area, the mythic battles between the Devas (the gods of light) and the Asuras (gods of darkness) became the most intense. . . For the first time in 248 years, transiting Pluto hovers at the exact border of these constellations for much of three years: from Nov. 2004 thru Nov. 2007. As it marches towards the Galactic Center, we have perhaps a major turning point in the history of civilization as we know it. Pluto, or indeed any planet slowly crossing Kali’s terrain, enters into an arena where it is now more visible and recognizable."
Although Pluto is not one of the visible planets usually discussed by Vedic astrologers, Neo-Vedic astrologers still value it's mythological and allegorical use. And despite the IAU's (International Astronomical Union) demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet, its message to those watching its position is not diminished. Pluto is still an indicator of death, rebirth and powerful transformations. It has been transiting this critical point in space since November 2004. And although its "exact" conjunction with the Galactic Center occurred on December 29, 2006, July 18, 2007, and will occur on October 28, 2007, it seems to me to be cumulative.
In addition to Pluto's transit of the Galactic Center, I am watching Jupiter's upcoming transit to it in the Gandanta degrees -- between November 8 - December 5, 2007. As the great benefic, Jupiter is significator of happiness, knowledge, learning and expansion, and rules Sagittarius. Jupiter changes signs from Scorpio into Sagittarius on November 21, 2007, and promises to bring hope and quest for the truth. In its own sign of Sagittarius Jupiter becomes more powerful and is able to express theses innate qualities. But in the nakshatras of Jyestra and Mula it may have a little bite. Jytestha is ruled by the deity Indra, the dragon slayer. Under this nakshatra the chief motivation is to conquer and to gain supremacy. The presiding deity of the following nakshatra, Mula, is Nritti – the goddess of destruction. Nritti is one aspect of Kali, the destroyer of illusions, and her purpose here is to help us break apart and destroy things, making room for a new creation based on a new foundation. Mula may inflict pain, but it is intended to keep us on the right track to God-realization.
Jupiter conjoins Pluto on December 11, 2007. By the winter solstice Jupiter, Pluto, Mercury and the Sun will be drawing down energy from the Galactic Center, enhanced two days later when a full moon conjoins Mars in Gemini. This powerful alignment may present political or fanatical religious conflict destroying things that aren't working. At the same time it may indicate a window of opportunity when we may be more open to receiving and understanding the messages from the source of life, the mula or root of the galaxy, the Galactic Center.
Monday, July 23, 2007
In 1972 Edward Lorenz presented the paper, "Predictability- Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?" Now known as the butterfly effect, it is a phrase that suggests a small variation of an initial condition of a dynamic system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. So the flapping of butterfly wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear(or not -- it could be countered by a butterfly in Texas).
So my question is if a nuclear waste material is leaked into the ocean, what effect might that have on weather patterns around the globe? Last week the 6.8 earthquake in Japan triggered a leak of nuclear waste. The company said the amount was far too small to pose a health hazard but has come under criticism for initially underreporting radiation levels. Even if the amount was small, those who understand homeopathic theory realize that it only takes a small amount to imprint the radioactive message on water. As the oceans are the source of our weather patterns, any disturbance in them could potentially have an effect anywhere around the globe. During the past 4-5 days our weather in Seattle has been unseasonably rainy and humid. I can't help but wonder if there is a connection. Luckily as Masuru Emoto has shown, water responds to thought and prayer and it's structure can be harmonized with thoughts of gratitude and love. I would suspect our ocean water could use a little gratitude right now.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Last March the Cassini spacecraft took the above picture of a mysterious phenomenon taking place on Saturn. A hexagonal storm encircled the entire north pole. The hexagon is the form of the crystallized stage of water, like a snowflake. Saturn's nature is cold and crystallizing, so I find it an interesting coincidence that this hexagonal phenomenon was discovered while Saturn was in a water sign, Cancer. For more on the story see http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2007-034.
Today Saturn shifted into Leo, a fire sign. As I mentioned in my last post, a physical manifestation of this change may come through increased temperatures, volcanic activity, and earthquakes. Sadly almost to the exact moment of transition, there were two 6+ earthquakes in the ring of fire today in Japan. One quake killed 9 elderly people (Saturn rules old age and death), injured more than 1,000, and triggered a leak of contaminated water from a nuclear power plant. The ring of fire is the earthquake zone where water meets fire. The ring of fire was particularly active while Saturn journeyed through the water sign Cancer, beginning with the 2004 tsunami.
Water and fire are opposite elements, each able to support or extinguish the other. In Taoist traditions maintaining their balance in the body is the alchemical secret to immortality. According to Yin-Yang theory, everything in the universe can be divided into two opposite, but complementary, aspects of yin (water) and yang (fire). Yin and yang are relative. One cannot exist with out the other.
In Vedic astrology the transition of a water sign to fire sign is called Gandanta. It is traditionally seen as an inauspicious position causing misery to the area of influence of the planet. (ie. Saturn rules earth as in land). In Sanskrit Gand means knot, or node, and anta means end, in particular the last 3 degrees of a water sign, and first three degrees of a fire sign -- at the three distinct junctions of Pisces (Revati)- Aries (Aswini), Cancer (Ashlesha)- Leo (Magha), and Scorpio (Jyeshta)- Sagittarius (Mula).
Each of the Fire signs are the portals to soul growth. Aries marks the beginning of the soul's journey, the individuated or inner self; Leo develops the outer self and material; and Sagittarius designates the point at which the soul turns away from the material as it seeks to merge with universal consciousness. When planets are placed in these positions, they take on a special power to unravel the knot of karma and move on to the next level. If a planets falls in the last three degrees of water sign, it is completing an old cycle; if it falls in the first three degree of a fire sign is beginning a new cycle. On a soul level, Saturn in Leo represents the potential to create social boundaries for the outer self and manifest its pursuit of the material.
Saturn is unique in that it is more powerful as it matures, thus gaining strength in the later degrees of a sign. It increased its potency in May when it entered the last three degrees of Cancer, which is part of the Ashlesha nakshatra. The ruling deity of Ashlesha is the Naga or serpent. Saturn has finally finished shedding its skin and is now, though still a little raw, ready to grow a new one. Saturn will be Gandanta through early August.
The Gandanta experience can be extremely painful, but it is necessary for the soul to grow into another dimension. At the Magha/ Leo stage, the soul is finally getting ready to experience life at a material level. While in Leo, the sign of kings, Saturn may also have a sobering effect on world leaders. The nakshatra of Magha is ruled by the Pitris, the great Fathers of humanity, who function as guardian angels giving protection in the event of major calamities on earth. Perhaps they were at work in Japan as there were only nine deaths -- of elders, who now have transitioned and have become ancestors.
Sending prayers to those suffering from today's earth changes. May the Pitris continue to protect you and all of humanity.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
As ruler of my own chart, I am quite partial to the planet Saturn. It's distinctive rings have captured the attention of astronomers and stargazers for thousands of years. The Cassini spacecraft has been sending back amazing pictures. In February of 2005 NASA revealed a surprising find that although Saturn appears yellow from our viewpoint on Earth, this beautiful gas giant has blue skies in its northern hemisphere. It amazes me that the great Vedic seers described Saturn as blue thousands of years ago -- and makes me wonder if they were extremely sensitive visionaries or if were they in contact with off world intelligences?
Saturn spends 2.5 years in a sign and it takes approximately 29 years to make a complete circuit of the zodiac. Astrologically it is the planetary ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn is the last outer planet visible to the naked eye and was well known and described by Vedic astrologers as the Lord of Karma. Traditionally Saturn is king of the malefics, significator of difficulties, death, disease, obstruction, delay, and misfortune. It challenges the ego and makes us face our deepest fears.
While Saturn's lessons are painful, it's gifts may be rewarding in the end. My teacher, Dennis Flaherty, describes the pressure of Saturn to be like the pressure needed to turn black carbon into brilliant diamonds -- the strongest and most beautiful of gemstones. One of the best books on Saturn is Robert Svoboda's The Greatness of Saturn, A Therapeutic Myth. What Saturn can do for us is to help us set boundaries and limits. Saturn reveals the limitations of the material world and through suffering the opportunity for transcendence is formed. David Frawley writes, Saturn is death that takes us beyond the limitations of mortal life, which is the gateway to the eternal. A well placed Saturn is necessary for spiritual practice and is an indicator for yogis and mystics.
Saturn in Leo Mid-July 2007 - Mid-September 2009
This week Saturn changes signs. It enters the constellation of Leo and will stay there for the next two years. As ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius, Saturn is not as comfortable in the opposite sign of Leo ruled by the Sun. In Vedic astrology planets belong to different camps, and Saturn and the Sun are not friends. When the planet of obstruction and shadow enters the sign of light, it has an effect not only on the realm ruled by Saturn but also on the realms signified by the Sun. Although mundane astrology and political interpretation are not my interests, it is quite clear that this energy will effect our leaders and giant corporations. See Dennis Flaherty's online Star Trends for an informative forecast of what's ahead economically and politically.
We had a taste of what's coming last winter. Between the beginning of November 2007 to early January 2007 Saturn made a brief sojourn into the constellation of Leo. So on a personal level, whatever pattern was going on at that time may resurface and be worked out during the next two years. What I remember most about that time were intense winter storms. I had to abandon my car twice due to impassible road conditions and face my fears about what having too many snow days off of work would do to my resources and reputation -- not to mention the self realization that I have become Seattle weather wimp.
However at the same time that I was intermittently confined to my icy home, I became involved with a meditation group that opened my horizons beyond words -- literally. (Thank you -- you know who you are.) This spiritual awakening may have also be due in part to Saturn traveling with Ketu, the south node, indicator of spiritual liberation. Ketu will be traveling with Saturn for the first year of its visit to Leo and its influence is always unpredictable, abstract and karmic. Ketu has a hot nature and which when placed in a fire sign like Leo its potential to burn away karma will certainly increase. Saturn is a significator for land and the earth and combined with Ketu may indicate further heating up of the planet (dah) as well as more local events like wildfires. It also means that Saturn is tied up with the eclipse cycle for the next year, especially the solar eclipse in Leo on September 11, 2007.
Another key date to watch is when Saturn is in exact alignment with the Sun, called combust, on August 21, 2007. In this case Saturn's influence is diminished, which may sound good to those of us who like to push beyond our limits, but it can also mean that important boundaries get pushed and broken. Beware of burn out at this time.
Saturn will also begin its journey in the unfriendly sign of Leo with its best friend Venus. She joined him two weeks ago in a lovely alignment visible to the naked in the constellation of Cancer. Since then she has passed him and entered Leo paving the way for him. Venus goes retrograde on July 27th and will reconnect with Saturn around August 12th and later after she goes forward as the morning star around October 14th. Venus' benefic energy may soften some of Saturn's heaviness. As I mentioned in a previous post, Venus in Leo loves drama, and with Saturn, the Lord of Karma, and Ketu, indicator of past life karma, she may present some interesting opportunities to work through some old dramas, or at least inspire some new ones to be written or acted out.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Did you feel it? There was a surge of highly charged particles hitting the earth's atmosphere early this morning which woke me from a sound sleep. After an hour of watching my clock, I decided to check the KP index (http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/kp_3d.html ) which did show a spike of activity. So I decided to make a post since I could not sleep.
As someone who works with energetic fields, I have realized that I am quite sensitive to magnetic fluctuations and I believe that the human body has a magnetic field that is profoundly effected by electromagnetic and geomagnetic shifts. You can see how the energetic fields depicted by Alex Grey above and the fields surrounding the earth resemble each other --as above, so below. I started to become aware of this connection while in acupuncture school during the last solar maximum in 2000. In 2000 something very mysterious happened. The south pole of the Sun disappeared while a second north pole developed. (See http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sun_poles_030423.html ). I found this extremely fascinating in light of the close election result: a tie between two presidential hopefuls and two north poles tied together (in astrology the sun represents leaders and kings). This amazing coincidence inspired me to look more deeply at the sunspot theories.
Apparently I was not alone looking at the cyclical nature of sunspots. There have been all sorts of studies, including economic correlations to stock market fluctuation and the sunspot cycle. The shifting of the sun's poles occurs approximately every 11 years and seems to be related to the sunspot cycle -- and theoretically to changes in political and economic reversals. Certainly the liberal political climate of the US shifted 180 degrees after the Clinton years to a conservative one.
What makes recent sunspot activity interesting is its possible connection to global warming. A little discussed phenomenon is that not only the earth is heating up. All the planets in our solar system are warming. (See http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2006/161106suvjupiter.htm ). Slightly les controversial is the theory that space weather has a profound effect on earth's climate and weather patterns. One of my favorite books is called Solar Rain by Mitch Battros who proposes this equation: Sunspots =>Solar Flares (CME)=>Magnetic Shift=>Shifting Ocean and Jet Stream Currents=> Extreme Weather. Initially scoffed at by mainstream scientists, the tide has now turned and evidence is mounting that here is indeed a direct influence of space weather on earth weather, and in my opinion on human weather/energetic systems.
Today's energetic spike was not caused by a solar flare or CME. Although there is a large sunspot crossing the earth side of the sun, this solar wind seems be coming from another place in space, thus I call it a stellar wind. I believe the sun is a living conscious field and that it senses the environment of the solar system as well as communicates with its distant stellar family. I've noticed flares and solar winds increase when other objects enter our solar system, like the recent discovery of a small comet called COMET LINEAR VZ13 which is gliding by the constellation Draco (conspiracy buffs take notice). (For more on the comet and current space weather activity see www.spaceweather.com). I wonder if there will ever be a time when scientific research will definitively connect the weather above, to the weather below.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Twenty-three is my quick answer to the question: "what is the difference between Vedic Astrology and Western astrology?" I don't mean to be cryptic, but 23 degrees is literally the difference between the Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs. It is called the Ayanamsha -- in Sanskrit ayana meaning solstice and amsha meaning portion -- and it refers to the difference between Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs.
The zodiac is a ring of constellations often referred to as signs, such as Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio and Taurus. It is a cosmic clock around which our solar systems operates and how astrologers measure cycles of time. Most people do not realize that there are two distinct zodiacs. Vedic astrologers use the Sidereal zodiac and Western astrologers use the Tropical zodiac. The Sidereal zodiac is based on observations of planets lining up against the backdrop of the fixed stars. It is oriented to the center of the galaxy. On the other hand, the Tropical zodiac is based on the relationship between the sun and earth. It is oriented to the equinoxes. In Western astrology the spring equinox sets the beginning of the Tropical zodiac at 1 degree Aries, even though the sun is astronomically traveling in the light fields of Pisces. In other words, it does not correspond to observable position. Vedic astrology is called Jyotisha in Sanskrit, meaning the science of light, and Vedic astrology describes how the light emitted from the stars effects us. When Western astrology was in its early stages, the two zodiacs may have lined up; but over time the two moved apart approximately 50 seconds per year to the current 23 degrees of separation (even that number is debated, but the standard of India, the Lahiri ayanamsha is 23 degrees 10 seconds).
Vedic astrology is considered by scholars to pre-date Western astrology and is the only system that has accounted for the precession of the equinoxes. What is the precession of the equinoxes? The answer to that involves another occurrence of the number 23 (those familiar with the enigma of 23, like LOST fans, may find this amusing). Because Earth's axis is tilted 23° 27' in its orbit around the sun, its equatorial plane is tilted with respect to the ecliptic plane, the plane created by Earth's orbit. These two intersecting planes create an intersecting line called the vernal axis that occurs on the first day of spring, or Vernal equinox. As the Earth spins on its axis, its axis wobbles (precesses 50.3 seconds of arc per year or 1 degree every 71.6 years) very slowly over a period of about 24,000 to 26,000 years. As this occurs, the pole of the Earth inscribes an arc in the heavens called the precessional arc. The Earth's pole aligns with different stars throughout the precessional period. The current pole star is Polaris. Approximately 13,000 year ago it was Vega, one of my favorite stars. Earth's precessional cycle is also referred to as Earth's Great Year in the alchemical tradition, World Ages, or Yugas in the Vedas. David Frawley describes it a one year in the life of humanity.
In Vedic astrology there is a line of thought that suggests this 24,000-26,000 cycle (and even wobble of the earth itself) maybe be generated by a grand cycle of our sun with a companion dark star. Modern astronomy is studying this possibility as well. The ancient Vedic seers divided up the cycle into four world ages: the Satya(Truth or Golden), Treta (Third or Silver), Dwapara (Third or Bronze) and Kali (first or Iron) Ages. Each age describes a stage of awareness for mankind in which consciousness ascends, descends, and ascends in unending cycles perhaps due to the influence of this yet to be discovered companion star. Although New Age philosophers have described humanity as entering the Age of Aquarius, astronomically speaking that will not happen for approximately 300-400 years.
According to Vedic thought, the cycles of ascending and descending consciousness are connected not only to our rotation around a companion star, but also our cycle around the galactic center. According to David Frawley, "Vedic astrology orients the zodiac to the galactic center, or the central galactic sun, whose influence comes to us through fixed stars of the constellation Sagittarius." The galactic center is like our cosmic belly button -- it is sometimes called Vishnunabhi, or the navel of Vishnu-- the point from which our galaxy grew and expanded. Many ancient cultures studied and recorded their observations about this area of the night sky, including the Mayans whose calendar marks an astronomical event of our winter solstice aligning with the galactic center in 2012. It's like the earth's pole or antenna will be aligned and open to receive message from the source itself. [H]ohm is calling.
One of the most brilliant developments of the ancient Vedic seers was to further divide the zodiac into more identifiable parts. They did this by creating the Nakshatra system. In Sanskrit Nakshatra means lunar mansion. As the moon travels through the entire zodiac in 27-28 days, the ancient seers ascribed a Nakshatra for each day simplifying its location. Although too vast a subject to go into in this post, it is interesting to point out that the name for the Nakstratra that marks the galactic center is Mula, meaning root or source.
Another difference between Western and Vedic astrology is the modern use of non-observable planets and asteroids. As a Neo-Vedic astrologer I do consider some of the outer planets when I look at a chart, but I tend to be more interested in the fixed stars and Nakshatras. I marvel at how Western astrologers bring in new astronomical discoveries to their chart interpretations. Basically I see Western charts as a map of the same terrain as a Vedic chart, but indicating different types or levels of information. It's like comparing a topological map with a road map. I don't need to know the difference of elevation between Broadway and 3rd Avenue, but I might like to know the street number of Benaroya Hall. It all depends on what type of information one is seeking. Vedic astrologers come from a tradition and philosophy that focuses on the four aims of life: dharma (purpose), arthra (attainment), kama (desire),and the most important moksha (liberation). Western astrology is enriched by many diverse traditions and the information gleaned from it may be quite extensive and more suited for the modern mind. But for me, I've always been drawn to the stars in the night sky and have felt them speak to me in the language of light. And as Jyotisha is the science of light, it is the tool and filter I use to translate this information.